I Showed up at the Dog Groomer Instead of For My Hair Appointment…

Photo from Pinterest 

Since I started working for the family business and am spending more time getting ready to teach a social media class at the UW, I’ve had little to no extra time to write here. I miss it. Working part-time has been an interesting balancing act that has had both good and bad outcomes.

The first month I went back to work, I was pretty much a wreck. I forgot a birthday, didn’t pay the monthly piano lesson bill, and showed up at the dog groomers instead of for my hair appointment—and even now, I’m sure I’m neglecting to remember what else I forgot. If you know, don’t remind me, please. It’s over. :) More

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25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until the New Year, but I had to share this fun video with you! More

Would You Let Your 10-Year-Old Daughter Wear this for Halloween?

Photo from Party City.

I took my six and nine-year-old daughters to Party City to pick out their Halloween costumes. We go there because they have the largest selection of Halloween costumes in our area. The kids section is on one wall and the teen and adult section is a few feet away on a different wall. Olivia chose a witch costume and Bella chose the Avatar Neytiri costume. Fine so far, except for this… More

Why Are We Obsessed With Beauty? Is All This Attention on Beauty and Looks Healthy?

I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. Why do we feel we need to look, dress, buy, think, and behave a certain way to be good enough? I’m not saying that I’ve never felt that I needed to be something other than myself to be accepted because, unfortunately–I have felt that way. What I’m questioning is why any of us ever feel that way in the first place? When and how does it start? At some point in our life, we all feel the pressure. More

Warning: Don’t Follow Hair Fads! Here Are My Reasons Why…

This is my Kindergarten picture.

My hair troubles started in Kindergarten when my mom took me and my naturally stick straight hair to get a “Shirley Temple” cut and perm. She meant well, but my hair was a wreck because it wasn’t the type of hair that was meant to be permed. Several sections were tight curls, while others sections were kinky angular kind of curls or stick straight stands that stood out from the curls. Not cute.

When I show friends my Kindergarten picture with my “Shirley Temple” wanna be hairstyle–no one can contain their laughter. Yeah, it’s pretty funny, but I cringe when I think of that picture. My perm had significantly relaxed and my mom had put considerable effort into making me look presentable for that picture. I still have nightmares about my hair being cut off.

I’ve had quite a few hair disasters… More

What Do You Think About Body Piercings or Tattoos on Kids and Teens? My Thoughts…

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My nine-year-old daughter had an all day play date Monday. The kids had a great time. As we were packing up to leave after dinner, I noticed something shiny on my daughter’s lip. My eyes quickly flickered to her friend, who also had something glistening on her lower lip. My eyeballs quadrupled in size–OMG! They both look like they have lip piercings! They have silver hoops in their lips.

I stayed calm on the outside, but on the inside, I kind of freaked out…My mind flashed forward and I envisioned my baby with a billion tattoos and multiple piercings everywhere. Is my rule-following-angel going to turn out to be a complete rebel? More

Pride or Prejudice by Tracie Stern

I love this piece by Tracie because as a woman and a mother, I can relate to all the thoughts and feelings she wrote about–even if for just a few moments. Haven’t we all felt like these characters at some point in our lives?

Here’s Tracie…

You are walking down the grocery store aisle. As a mother of three, you are dressed for comfort and mobility as your list of “To Do” things is long and exhausting. Approaching you from the other end is a woman whose appearance is the kind that makes you take a second look. Her hair is done, not overly but naturally, soft curls pulled back into a half bun, her nails are done and her makeup is natural but enhancing. Her fashion is modern and understated yet as a whole she draws your eye in with an almost sense of admiration because she looks so well put together. At first sight, do you take the stand of pride or prejudice in how this woman is presenting herself?

This situation takes an out-of-body approach. Imagine you are watching the scene unfold as an impartial 3rd party. You see the mom, dressed in a combination of stretchy pants and flats with an over sized sweater. As a description goes, frumpy may come to mind. There is a small child in the cart, eating Cheerios from a plastic bag as mom goes over the list she has written so as to not forget anything. The baggy clothes could be hiding anything–a great figure or in the moms eyes, maybe figure flaws brought on by years of neglect, children, or a forgotten sense of self. No one really knows, as it’s next to impossible to see through it.

When the mom notices the woman approaching from the other end, she will in that instant make a decision. That mom will either judge this woman with a sense of prejudice due to her own self-confidence issues or she will embrace the pride this woman has in herself and give her some mental applause. Which one are you? More

French Women: Do They Know Something That We Don’t?

“Kiss at the Hotel de Ville” by Robert Doisneau

I have recently read several books about French culture and the French women’s attitudes about relationships, parenting, sex, personal style, food, marriage, and the way they live their day-to-day lives. I read What French Women Know About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind, by Debra Ollivier, and I was so intrigued that I read another book by Ollivier called, Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl. I’m currently reading Lunch in Paris: A Love Story With Recipes, which is a memoir by Elizabeth Bard. It’s quite entertaining and the recipes look delicious. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, is on my nightstand waiting to be read next. It’s pretty obvious that I’m slightly obsessed with the French at the moment.

The French women seem different from American women. I’m not saying their way is better by any means, but they come across as free-spirited, yet sophisticated, self-possessed, and refined. The French women don’t like rules, do’s and don’ts, how to articles, relationship experts, gyms, or tools and techniques to finding love or looking like so-and-so. The French don’t seem to give a damn about what people think (unless you are talking about food, wine, chocolate, sex, politics, books, or pleasure). They simply live their lives as they please.

A typical (or maybe stereotypical) French woman doesn’t want to look, dress, buy, and behave like other women, actors, or models. They want to be independent minded, intelligent, sexy, and cultivate their own unique style and inner world. Apparently, that is the social “norm” in France. I think Americans want the same things, but sometimes we seem to have a harder time being honest about who we really are or want to be because we care too much about being liked or about being like everyone else. French women are not brought up to care about that sort of thing.  

I was telling one of my friends, Kaia, about the book What French Women Know, and I blurted out, “You know all this time I thought maybe I was a freak, but now I think—I must be French!” We both laughed. Yeah—ha, ha, real funny. But, there is a little truth to that statement in some areas of my life. It’s not that I’ve thought of myself as a freak (whatever that means…what’s “normal” anyway? It’s all relative—the way we choose to live our lives.), but there are definitely times when I feel as though I swim against the mainstream. I like it that way; I really truly enjoy it actually. More

What Are Your Thoughts on Abercrombie Kids Selling Padded Push Up Bikini Tops to 8-Year-Old Girls? Check Out A Better Kids Clothing Option. By Liz Nord

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People have told me that my Barbie vs. Bratz post was either too conservative or not conservative enough. I hope we can all agree here, that selling push up padded bikini tops to eight-year-old girls it completely and utterly over the top and wrong. Please tell me you agree.

Abercrombie Kids is marketing to girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 14. There is no logical reason for a seven-year-old girl to have a padded anything. The use of the word “push up” is unbelievably inappropriate for young girls. A push up bikini top is designed to make your bust look bigger and more accessible to the eye. Why would a second or third or fifth or whatever grader want to do that? This is clear sexualization of girls, and it really bugs me. 

Playing sexy is not appropriate for girls.  Kids should be out catching frogs, playing sports, learning an instrument, dancing, playing hopscotch, etc. Let them be kids! Teaching girls that their looks are their primary value is setting them up for future problems with body image, self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth.

Right now, somewhere in the world, a girl is shopping at Abercrombie Kids. She is getting the message that her chest is not good enough; it needs to be bigger and pushed up and out. No, thank you.

There has been such outrage about the bikini top that Abercrombie Kids has removed the word “push-up” from its online catalogue, but not the item. It’s still for sale and being marketed as padded. It’s just wrong. I will never shop at that store.

On a more positive note, check out Pigtail Pals. I love their Redefine Girly t-shirts for ages six months and up. Their t-shirts have empowering positive messages. No, “I’m a princess” or “I’m spoiled” messages here.

Here is their awesome video. It’s a must see. I love it!

Pigtail Pals say, “Instead of ‘parents beware’, let’s work with ‘parents be educated about your options and empowered in how to talk to your kids’. Let’s focus on the companies who are putting good, healthy, inspiring apparel & products out there for girls.”

UPDATE: Abercrombie Kids took the Ashley padded bikini top off their website. But, there is still another bikini there that has “removable padding”.

Go From Feeling Frazzled and Frumpy to Feeling Fabulous and Feisty by Liz Nord

I know firsthand what it feels like to transition from feeling frazzled and frumpy to feisty and fabulous! After having our kids, there have been many times when I have felt exhausted, let myself go, or lost my fire. Here are some ways I’ve gone from frazzled and frumpy to feeling feisty, strong, sexy, and fabulous!

~ Set boundaries and reclaim yourself. We are busy women trying to balance kids, marriage, friends, careers, domesticity, and personal time. Do not underestimate the power of “you” time. Some of us may feel guilty taking time out for ourselves (I do), but work through it or you will end up burned out and resentful. If you take time for yourself, you will feel refreshed, be a happier mom and wife, and better able to take on the world.

~ Throw your shoulders back, pick up your chin, and open up your posture. Yes, do it right now! How does that feel? It feels good! I immediately feel more confident and energetic whenever I extend my arms. If I’m sitting down somewhere and notice that I’m not feeling “on,” I just open up my posture by setting one of my arms on the chair next to me. I swear it works wonders every time! More

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