What’s In My Online Shopping Cart

So, the truth is I’m always shopping. I am always always looking for things I need/want/got to have RIGHT NOW. I like online shopping, storefront shopping, window shopping, shopping for other people…whatever – I love it all. I feel like lately, I’ve stumbled across some cute things that I’d share with you guys.

Online Shopping has got to be one of my most favorite ways to shop. I actually used to always be in the camp of not caring for online shopping, because I’m a “I want to touch it and feel it and hold it, in person” type of gal. However, motherhood and adulthood have really put a damper on the ease of just going out at any time to do some uninterrupted shopping. Have you tried navigating Target with a two and four year old lately? Unless you stuff them full of juice, chocolate milk, and popcorn which truthfully will only buy you about 30 minutes – trying to enjoy Target is just really a fruitless endeavor. And even if you aren’t  a parent – all that adulting and responsibility can still hinder your free range shopping plans. So yeah, as a result I have grown to love and look forward to hours of perusing my favorite online shopping outlets. It’s convenient and you have the world at your fingertips!

What have I been digging lately?

  1. MEMEBOX Disco Daze Gift Set – $29.99
  2. Show Me Your KITTIES Mug – $11.75
  3. Unicorn Face With Gold Glitter Horn Set Of 2 Mug And Stemless Wine Glass – $19.50

  4. Full Moon Wall Tapestry – $35.19
  5. UGG Cozy Cable Knit Slippers – $79.97-$120.00
  6. Elizabeth and West Fashion House: Moto Leggings – $44.00
  7. Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser with Spout – $35.99

  8. Cat Socks – $17.99
  9. Tan Leather Couch – $2999.00
  10. Does this Coffee make me look Alive T-Shirt – $32.00

What have you guys been shopping around for lately?

#morethanasize

One of my favorite bloggers,Rebecca from  Mommy In Heels, started this movement called “More Than A Size”. She wants to bring awareness to the fact that most women are defined and define themselves by what size they wear. They let that number dictate how they feel about themselves instead of all the other amazing qualities and characteristics that make them who they are. That makes them the person that their people love. That makes them more than a size.

When I first saw her announcement on Instagram and read the two blog posts (here & Here) that she dedicated to explaining what she was trying to say and accomplish, I was completely inspired and totally related. What I especially love is that she’s talking about all woman – of all shapes and sizes and weights. I think that’s fantastic and worthwhile. I think it’s a necessary statement to make. It made me reflect on my own feelings about the ways that I let my size influence how I feel about myself, and how as I’ve gotten older I recognize that I am so much more than a size.

I also really feel like it’s important to note and say that being healthy is the most important thing of all, and that what you look like and what size you are should not be dictated by other bodies around you. Your body is different and beautiful because of those differences. For instance, my fabulous blogging partner and I. We have two totally different body types. She’s tiny. Even at what she considers super heavy, she’s still legit tiny. She’s short. She’s got miniscule wrists and ankles…and her fingers? They little. That’s how she’s made. She continually gets frustrated when she will tell people that she feels like she could stand to lose another 10-15 pounds to be at her healthiest weight and they tell her “NO!” you’re small enough. That’s annoying. And wrong. Me? I’m 5’5” with broad shoulders and hips and booty to spare. Always and forever.  But the thing is, even at my smallest size – I’ll always be larger than Rhonda in every way, because my body is not like hers. And that’s ok.

As someone who takes tons of pictures of herself for her blog and social media accounts, and as someone who has just always cared about how I look in my clothing – it is so hard to not find yourself in that trap of searching for the perfect camera angle or style of clothing that will make me look the skinniest.  That’s a never ending wormhole. It’s a devastating way to crush your self esteem and sense of self worth.  

I really think that what Rebecca is trying to say with the #morethanasize movement is that we’ve got to learn to love ourselves. We’ve got to stop trying to put ourselves in some kind of mold that we don’t fit in. A mold that we shouldn’t fit in.

What should we actually be more focused on? Doing things that make our bodies the healthiest and happiest that they can be. We talk a lot about the way that we eat around here. We do weekly blog posts showcasing some recipes that adhere to that way of eating. We treat our bodies by not exposing them to sugars and grains. We also are always striving for body positivity in general. Rhonda sure knows how to pump me up and make me feel great about myself, and I always strive to do the same for her. I personally don’t ever weigh myself. I don’t even have a scale at home. I’ve also learned to not be afraid of what a tag says. Sometimes I want my shirt to be super loose – so I’ll grab a larger size with zero qualms. And really, the way that women’s sizing varies from brand to brand – you could legit go crazy trying to define yourself by those standards.

Knowing what size you wear or what you look like in comparison to those around you- those things are unavoidable necessities, but we have to stop letting that define us. We are more than that.

I know that I’m more than a size because I’m a creative, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a worthwhile human being.

A Valentine Wish List

I love a good wish list, because damn I love things.  I am admittedly a little materialistic and gifts are my love language.  With that, it’s fitting that I am continually making lists of things I need and want.

Valentine’s Day being next week seems like as good a reason as any to tell you what I’m coveting these days.

Soma Drapesoft Jersey Tulip Sleeveless Nightgown – I sleep in the nude, but I love a good nightgown to wear around the house in the mornings or at night.  To be honest, I would head out for errands in this after tossing a denim jacket over it.

HONEY Graphic Tee – I love a good graphic tee and when I saw this one, I knew I wanted it.  It’s simple and perfect.

Nickel & Suede Earrings, in Merlot and Black (I wear Large) – I mean, I have a LONG list of these earrings I want for adding to my collection, but Black is definitely next.  I find myself needing them with most outfits.  I want Merlot too and it’s the earring of the month, meaning it’s on SALE!

Alex and Ani Queeen’s Crown Bangle – I started collecting Alex and Ani when Stuart and I started dating.  I haven’t gotten a new one in awhile, and this February exclusive is CALLING ME.

Hope’s Simple Side of Things Dress – I have been obsessed with this dress since Hope’s posted it on Snapchat a couple of weeks ago.  Such a perfect dress for Spring.

I could go on and on, but you have to stop somewhere, right?!  My Amazon list is also full of amazing items that I would LOVE to have.  Ah well, I will get there eventually!

Happy Wine-Aversary!

I was going through my Google Plus Photo account the other day when Google suggested to me to rediscover this day – which is basically their version of TimeHop or Facebook’s Memories. What pictures did Google want to show me?

It was a selfie I’d taken of me drinking some wine while my child screamed at my feet. It’s pretty much the best selfie ever. And it just really epitomizes one of the main reasons why I have come to love wine so much. It relaxes me. It’s a little escape from the chaos surrounding me. It’s a me thing I do. For me – when most of my life is about being a Mom. 

I got to thinking while looking through those pictures about how it must have been around that day exactly that I’d started drinking wine as part of a lifestyle habit. And it occured to me that it was my Wine-aversary! So, then being me – I began to self reflect on why I began walking down this wine road, and just about my relationship with alcohol in general. Lucky you guys – you get to hear all those rambling thoughts!

Prior to making drinking wine a regular part of my life – I abstained from alcohol except for in social settings. I had this thing about alcohol being in the fridge at home. That wine I’m drinking in that picture? It was a bottle I’d won during dirty santa on the Christmas Eve prior. That bottle of wine sat in my fridge for over a month. I remember thinking that I was going to save it for a special occasion. I had it in my mind that I needed a valid reason to drink.

But, one day something changed. I honestly can’t remember exactly what happened that day. I do remember that I was in the throws of raising two babies , and in general it just wasn’t a great time for me personally. What WAS going on that had really boosted my confidence and given me a sense of self purpose? This blog. We posted our first post on February 2, 2017, and it’s been a year now that I’ve had this blog and wine as part of my life on the regular. I have to say, that things around here are better for it.

I’ve seen alcoholism in people that are close to me. I’ve lived around alcoholism. The thing is – I’ve been scared of alcoholism my entire life. I’ve always been so highly aware of how much I drink and where I drink and with whom I drink and why I drink. I didn’t have a cocktail at lunch or dinner on a weekday. I never ever ever drank to soothe myself after a rough day or help get through a tough time. Alcoholism or alcohol abuse are dirty words. And they should be. I have personally seen the ugly things people do under the influence of this nasty addiction. I’d spent 31 years trying to prevent myself from becoming addicted. I’d also spent 31 years developing another form of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

I feared it. I was letting it control my life.

When you’ve swum head deep in the depths of alcoholism alongside a loved one – you can’t help but fear drowning yourself. When you’ve seen the way alcohol abuse wreaks havoc on and  in the life and health of someone you hold dear – you can’t help but try to avoid it all costs.

That’s a dangerous way to live life though. Consumed by fear of something that you haven’t even tried out for yourself. When you make NOT DRINKING such a big part of your personality – you’re already giving alcohol power over yourself.

And so, I threw caution to the wind. It was Wednesday. My children were a hot mess. Who knows what else was going on. But I had some wine. There were nights (and still are) that I’ll drink an entire bottle. Did you just gasp? Are you appalled that I can drink a whole bottle of wine on a Wednesday night and still manage to take care of my children as they wake FIFTEEN MILLION times throughout the night and then make my way to work where I function at a high level? I know I would have gasped a year ago if someone told me I’d do those things.

I don’t hide the fact that I drink on a fairly regular basis from children. I don’t hide it from my family. I don’t hide it from my friends. I certainly don’t hide it on social media. I mean. Rhonda and I get on Facebook Live every week and drink wine and argue about what is the proper way to count on our fingers. So. There’s that. 

I started drinking regularly – and now alcohol no longer has control over me. It’s just another regular part of my life. In fact, I’m more addicted to my daily dose of Starbucks than I am to wine. Ask me to choose between giving up coffee or hugs from kids….I may actually take a moment to pause and consider the consequences of each choice equally. 😉

Do I need wine? Nah. Do I enjoy wine? Hell yesss.

And honestly, drinking it is still a social thing. We’ve brought our social lives into our homes on a daily basis through things like Facebook and Snapchat and Blogs. So – I can drink and chat with my friends from within the comfort of my own home. By myself – but not. Introvert dreams. 🙂

I want my children to see and experience a healthy relationship with alcohol through me. I want them to be cautious. Obviously. I just don’t want them to fear it so much that that fear starts to control them. I don’t want them to see a mom who never drinks at home or during a meal in a restaurant – but she’ll go out with her friends on a Friday night and come stumbling home and unable to function for the entire next day because she doesn’t know how to control herself when she does actually allow herself to drink. I don’t want for their view of me to become two sided – the drinking me and the non drinking me. Because – we’re the same person.

Drinking doesn’t have to be a THING. You can’t let it control you on either end of the spectrum. You can’t fear what might happen so much so that you sabotage yourself during rare nights of binge drinking but feel better about yourself just because you don’t keep beer in the fridge. You also can’t let alcohol become a necessary part of your life. You shouldn’t depend upon the way it makes you feel to make you happy or satisfied or content.

You should know your limits though. You should be cautious. You should be aware of the way it is affecting your life. Your sense of well being. Your state of mind. Your body. Your health. Your relationships. That affect should be positive. Most importantly, it shouldn’t ever ever hold you prisoner: in any way. 

So, anyway CHEERS and Happy Wine-Aversary to me. 🙂

 

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Hey y’all! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Hey hey! So today isn’t Tuesday, but we have something else planned for this Tuesday…so here we are on a Monday doing Eat Happy. 🙂

My task to cook this time? Tzatziki Dip and Almond Meal Pita Chips.

Soooo, confession time? The main ingredient in the Tzatziki Dip is cucumbers.  I hate cucumbers. I don’t like the way the smell. I certainly don’t like the way they taste. BUT I refuse to be that person that won’t try something new. Don’t get me wrong. I freaking love my comfort zones, especially when it pertains to food. I can eat the same meal all week. I will order the same thing at a restaurant…indefinitely. I’m just not going to put a hard no on something  – when it’s being prepared differently than I’ve ever had it. The thing is, you can be in the camp of not liking a certain food, but someone could cook or prepare it in such a way that you end up really enjoying.

But yeah. Not a cucumber fan – however, I dove into this recipe with confidence and zero cucumber hating baggage.

First hurdle? I had a hard time finding almond meal. I can remember when I first started NSNG, and how it was never a big deal to find coconut flour or almond meal at places like Walmart and Target. Now, the shelves were bare and weren’t restocked for over a week. Rhonda and I talked about it and she pointed out that it was probably because more people are being turned on to limiting grains and finding substitutes for traditional flour. Anyway, I finally found some almond meal at Winn-Dixie.

The batter is pretty simple and straightforward – I did have one hiccup. I forgot to buy parchment paper that was supposed to use to line the pan. You know. To prevent sticking. I’ve been out of tinfoil for a couple of weeks now. Zip lock bags too. I’ve been sending my son’s weekly magazine cut outs that start with his class’s letter of the week just stuck all willy nilly in the pocket of this school folder. So I mean – there for sure was no parchment paper in the house. Solution? I just heavily greased the pan with some kerrygold butter and sprinkled that with a little bit of almond flour. For the most part it worked. Thankfully you’re supposed to just break apart the pieces so it was ok that they didn’t come out all perfectly shaped. 🙂

The almond meal pita chips turned out fantastic. They were so good I could have ate that whole pan. I had to quickly wrap them up and put them away.

While the chips cooled, I got started on the Tzatziki Dip.  You have to roughly chop the cucumbers and sprinkle them with salt to help draw out some of the moisture.  I have to say that that part was super interesting. To let the cucumbers sit and come back to cucumber juices leaking everywhere.

Once the cucumbers were ready – I threw them into the food processor with all the other ingredients. Let me just tell you that pureed cucumbers have an even more intense smell. I was definitely taken aback. And then I regained my composure cause: I’d left my cucumber baggage at the kitchen door. 😉

I tried several bites – and it wasn’t too bad. Not something I’d choose to make again…but not something I’d turn my nose up at which says a lot considering I have a strong-ish dislike for cucumbers. And once again, I brought this beauty to my Mom cause girl loves cucumbers. 🙂 🙂

Thanks for coming by…and if you want to see our previous week’s Eat Happy posts feel free to click on through:

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini
Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

Afton Line at Target & Mom Rambles on the Statement of Fashion Choice

Recently, I was shopping at my local Target which is just really a regular Tuesday night for me. And anyway, I made my typical rounds that start in the women’s clothing section as I meander all the way around the store. Midway through I always stop off and look at the toddler clothes section. I’m always on the hunt for pants that fit my skinny four year boy child. You know, ones that are snug enough in the waist but will also cover his ankles. People, correctly fitting boy pants are a boy mom’s dream.

After checking all the boy pants – I made my way to the little girl’s section. I immediately noticed a new rack that held black and gray clothing with one little pink dress. Obviously, I was drawn to it. It seemed it was a new line brand that Target had recently introduced. I know I’ve never seen it before. I love monochromatic looks. I love pattern-less looks. I love black and gray. This new little section of clothes had my name written all over it. So I walked over to investigate.

The brand name is Afton Street and besides the atypical color scheme, each piece of clothing had a tag that said:

“Defy norms and stereotypes. Grow, learn and make your own path. Explore the world everyday.”

 

And if I wasn’t already convinced that Sophie needed something from this line..just for the pleasing aesthetic – this tag sealed the deal. I love the sentiment, and it just really made me start thinking about the way we dress our children and ourselves. And then that just snowballed into how all that relates to life and the time we live in. And I have a blog – so I thought I’d get on here and ramble to you guys. 🙂

This line of clothing is super ‘uniformish’ in that it’s mostly all items of clothing that have no patterns or very subtle patterns. Also, most of the clothing is gray and black with a few splashes of muted pink and cranberry mixed in. I’m sure that is a big turn off for many people – and probably in their mind contradicts what the brand is trying to say. But it spoke to me.

It seems to be beaten into our psyche that being unique or individualistic has to be loud. If you think of someone breaking fashion standards the whole  wild and free -big and bold – buck the system  vibe hits you.

When you picture the embodiment of those sentiments, I’m sure images filled with color and girls with big  lion hair and tattoos and purposefully mix-matched clothing choices and bold graphic art and huge public statements and defying the norm with risque hemlines and putting your personality into your clothing so that people can see it from a mile away.

I think rebellion and freedom, in general, but especially in fashion has become so aesthetically loud that it often distracts from the message and personality of the individual.

I love the idea of the quiet that a monochromatic and muted colored look provides. I love the idea that you aren’t distracted by my clothes and you can really see ME. You can really hear what I have to say.

When I think of rebellion I think of Winston from 1984 who lived in the party uniform just like everyone else. I think of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, before someone made her put on a flashy dress so that she’d get the attention the outlandishly dressed and body morphed Capitol inhabitants. I think of Luke and Rey from Star Wars dressed in basic utilitarian inspired clothing. I think of Frodo Baggins from The Lord of The Rings in his simple hobbit garb. I think of Moana in her traditional and functional clothing that wasn’t overly showing of her station in life.

I just like things simple. I like things quiet. I like things basic. I think the loudest statement can be something spoken in a whisper – or not spoken at all but written.

While I’m not here to bash you if you’re extra and loud – my best friend is all of those things and I applaud her constantly for her ability to live that way because I admire it – but it’s not me.

You can defy norms in a uniform. You can defy stereotypes in something black and gray. You can grow and learn everyday. Don’t ever accept the status quo. Don’t feel like you have to wear pink because you are a girl or blue because you are a boy. But also, don’t feel like you have to be ashamed of dressing your little girl in bright pink because you genuinely like it. 

Sometimes it’s really great to strip away all the fuss that surrounds you to really see who you are and know what you want. Basic doesn’t have to boring, and an individual can rise and thrive within a uniform.

 

Life Lately

Heeey you guys! We thought we’d spend a few minutes this morning sharing with y’all about what has been going on in our lives lately. So, grab your coffee…or adult beverage…and hang with us for a while.

Ashley –

Let’s see let’s see… it has still been incredibly cold here on a regular basis. It literally feels like the LONGEST WINTER EVER. I’ve become that annoying person who complains about the cold too much. I can’t help it though.

Coop has still been rocking at school drop off…and just school in general. His dad and I decided to keep him at St. Al’s for at least one more year through Kindergarten. We think he is going to need the stability and sameness that will come with staying at the same school. Plus, he just loves it there. And so do we. Speaking of this week is Catholic Schools Week. Which just basically means they have some fun things planned for the kids and teachers. I guess it’s kind of like a spirit week.

What about Sophie? Well she is a little hot mess. She’s constantly into everything..like it seems as if sometimes she walks around trying to cause havoc just because she can. LOL I love it though. Also, her hair is at the point that it’s so long that I have to do something with it everyday. This is a stage that I both dreaded and looked forward. Having a little girl with long hair that you can style and play with is so fun, but the reality is that she hates it. It’s a struggle. A simple top knot with a bow is our easy peasy go to. It looks put together and her hair is out of her eyes: win win.

And me? Oh you know – same same. There’s been lots of shopping, meme sharing, working, and most currently trying to plan a trip in late February to go see my Boo Thing (aka Rhonda) in Fort Worth! I also experienced the traumatic event of trying to get a splinter out of the finger of my hysterical four year old little boy. I think we both have PTSD from that incident. Before Christmas I had a little accident in the Starbucks parking lot, and I was finally able to get my car to the shop to get that damage fixed the week before last. Then this past weekend my brother put four new tires on my car. And now I feel like I’m driving around in a brand new car which is super nice.

 

I think that’s most of the high points…what about you Rhonda?

Rhonda –

January seems to be just dragging on forever, if I’m being honest here.  Goodness, I can’t believe it’s not over.  Like, it’s shocking.

We celebrated Nick turning 12 this month, which was a hard pill for this Mama to swallow.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I became a mother, but I’ve been doing it A DOZEN YEARS?!  Jesus.  We had a great turnout for his Star Wars themed party.

 

We also VERY unexpectedly and suddenly bought a car.  It was so needed.  Six people don’t exactly fit into a Toyota Camry.  We got a Ford Flex and it’s fully loaded with things I didn’t know existed – things I didn’t realize I needed.  I am a little obsessed.  I may even do a whole blog post on the things I love about it.  I want to name the car.  Stuart is confused as to why that’s necessary.  Look, we already know I’m extra.

 

We got together for a much needed mimosa playdate with my mom group.  I had been missing those gals, as we all hunkered down to avoid the flu all winter.  Bless it.  Speaking of which, nobody in my house got sick through these freezing days, but now that it warmed up to 70 a couple days recently, I have a cold.  Cute.

We have been doing a lot of sitting in the driveway on nice afternoons, riding bikes and scooters and people watching.  We just got new neighbors a few houses down and I have been watching them carefully, trying to figure out if they are people we can befriend.  I have a longtime fantasy of having neighbor best friends.  This family seems to have a mom, dad, and two kids, but that’s all I can say for sure, as many people were in and out during the move-in process.   We will see!

What have you been up to lately?

 

Finding Liberal Ground in Southern Soil

I grew up in a very conservative and religious household and community. My parents are Christian. My dad was a Southern Baptist Preacher/Pastor for a large chunk of my childhood and early adolescence. There have been moments in my early and current adulthood that I find myself saying how they’ve both changed so much. I think though – it’s more that I have changed and they love me and support me: no matter what. They’ve got that unconditional parental love thing down in ways that I can only aspire to.

I am no authority on the matter, but I’m sure it’s completely normal for children to adhere to their parents’ belief system. I also bet that it’s entirely common for parents to  show their children only their side of things. Why would they not? That’s how they live their lives and is subsequently affecting the way they raise their children. The parental belief set determines the things a child is allowed to see, do, say, experience, and so on. That exposure and allowed set of experiences shapes the child’s belief sets without intentional verbal instruction from the parent. All of that was my own personal experience anyway. And the experience of friends of mine.

And so I said all of that to say that as a result of the household I grew up in – I turned into an early adolescent with a set of conservative beliefs. I believed in the Christian god – I adhered to all the conservative values/political viewpoints and stances that are typically associated with a Southern religious individual. I was way too young and sheltered to have a clearly developed and thought out set of opinions on different issues. I just blanketed everything under the usual conservative religious state of mind.

When it was time for me to spread my wings and leave high school for college, I had originally planned to stay close to home. Attend Junior college and decide from there. However, MississippI University for Women, which I will fondly refer to as The W from here on out, offered me the chance to get a scholarship that could potentially cover the full cost of my tuition. I thought, “Why Not try?” and so my Mom and I headed to Columbus, MS for me to compete for this scholarship. I fell in love with that school from the moment we drove through the gates. I felt at home. I got the scholarship, and there was no looking back for this smitten girl. The W was were I belonged – I had no doubts.

I remember during Freshman Orientation my parents and I went to this seminar where the presenter talked about how The W was incredibly and unashamedly accepting of diversity. She talked about how people didn’t bat an eye to see a homosexual couple walking down the sidewalk hand in hand. They didn’t discriminate or show prejudice. My Dad later told me that it took every ounce of self control for him to not stand up, grab my hand, and walk out right then and there to take me back home. Me? I was elated. Enthralled. Over the moon to be there. To become a part of that community and lifestyle.

The W is an extraordinary place where individualism and equality are celebrated, taught, and exercised. When you find yourself in an environment like that – I don’t see how you could emerge unchanged.

I’m not going to say that going to The W was the only thing that changed the way I thought about the world. It wasn’t the sole reason for my departure from conservative religious beliefs and values. There were many other things that happened during my childhood and prior adolescence. My parents, despite their claim to a conservative mindset, even planted within me a different world view that I didn’t realize was there until I got away. However, The W and the education I obtained within the classroom walls and outside the classroom walls whilst among my peers was a major catalyst.

Where do I stand now? What are issues that are near and dear to my heart? What do I believe that I consider makes me liberal? To name a few…..


  • I believe that continued education is a right. I don’t think it’s fair to charge someone thousands and thousands of dollars just because they want to be further educated. I don’t think that a particular degree needs to even be a goal. I don’t think that’s a necessity in today’s society. How many of us are running around with our little Bachelor’s Degrees in jobs that don’t require it? How many of us are completely happy knowing that we were educated in a formal/traditional setting and believe that our lives were changed for the better all the while  knowing that we haven’t ever had to whip out that piece of paper for an employer or client? Does the job I have in mind require technical training? Ok – I’ll pay for that. General education is so important. Being exposed to life outside of the walls that we were raised within is so important. A college education allows an individual to better themselves. Why are we punishing each other with the overwhelming financial burden that are student loans? Free and/or discounted formal education should not stop after high school. When our society is properly educated…all of us…things will change for the better.
  • Individuals do not typically need guns in order to protect themselves from violence. Guns are dangerous in untrained hands. When guns are present, tense situations can be easily escalated to a level that they need not be. Permanent and irreversible damage – even life ending damage – can be easily and flippantly executed by a gun. It is the job of our local and federal government and military to protect us through the use of weapons such as guns. I am uber non confrontational and passive. I believe in walking away. I believe in holding your tongue. I believe in avoiding conflict. I believe when regular citizens are carrying guns, other than for sport like hunting, they invite conflict. You don’t need your handgun on your hip in Walmart. You just don’t. If you think you do…then you need to find another Walmart to go to my friend.
  • We are just humans here on this earth. We are a mass of cells fighting for survival. Our bodies are our bodies. My body does not belong to my significant other. It does not belong to my child. It definitely does not belong to your god. I have the inherent right to do with my body what I want. I can have an abortion if I want to. I can kill myself if I want to. If I need medical assistance to do either of those things – I should be able to find it – in a safe and affordable environment.
  • Above all – I am certain that law and order are necessary. That a society led, watched over by, and cared for by a government is essential to preventing chaos and societal breakdown. I believe that a government can be genuinely interested and invested in our personal needs without infringing upon our rights. Our government should be our manager. Our supervisor. She should be there to help ensure equality, protect civil liberties and human rights, and reduce community issues. She should work for us. If she’s working for us, what is there to be afraid of?

I’ll never be a “my way or the highway” type of person – on any issue. I think differences in opinion are the checks and balances that we need. You should constantly question your beliefs. You should never become complacent. You should never be close minded.

But .. all of that ^^ that’s  the ground I’m currently standing on, and from my view, the grass underneath me  is pretty dang green.

Fighting for Feminism at Home

I want to preface my rant with this disclaimer – because what I have to say may be perceived as one sided. I think that there a lot of men out there who are doing a great job at being upstanding human beings. I know some of these men. They are my family. They are my friends. They have employed me. They have been my employees. Unfortunately they are still in the minority.  Which is why I have to say what I have to say today.

So – if you’re in the mood… read on.

You would think that in this day and time with all the shouting about women’s rights and the incredible advances that have been made within our parents’ and grandparents’ generations and even the women of today – that there aren’t men still holding women hostage under an outdated ideal of what a family is supposed to look like.

You wouldn’t think there are still men just taking out the trash and washing only their clothes while they expect their significant other to take care the children. Completely.

You wouldn’t think that there are still fathers out there acting like perfectly respectable members of society while they are too much of a coward to step up and realize that they’re literally just acting like a babysitter dad when they are at home.  

You wouldn’t think that a man today would place all of his self worth on the amount of money he brings home. I’m sure you’d be surprised to find out there are men who STILL ask their significant other to make career sacrifices so that the children are not neglected while they climb the advancement ladder at work without acknowledging those sacrifices as valid or worthwhile.

You wouldn’t think a Dad who claimed to be better than the rest would up and leave his entire family to go build a new life. In 2018. I know I’d be shocked.

You wouldn’t think a woman could still be afraid to speak her mind or swipe the debit card from her joint account without fear of devastating repercussions from her significant other.

Women get a bad rap. Even other women condone mothers who threaten to hurt the father of their children with outrageous child support claims or taking away visitation rights. I’m not saying women don’t do that. Maybe they do it because they feel powerless? Maybe they do it because they are freaking crazy and shouldn’t have had kids in the first place? BUT I’m telling you there are men out their doing the same damn thing. They’ve been doing it. And they’re still doing it. And it’s never been ok. It will never be ok.

I tell me kids this. I tell my friends this. I’ve told my employees this. You cannot be shocked when someone starts giving back what you gave them.

You try to keep me silent and threaten to take my children away because I don’t have a job and can’t live on my own without you? For years. For years you’ve threatened women with this….and now. Now women start hurling that back at you…you’re surprised? Well – you’re an idiot…and a narcissist of the worst degree.

You’d be surprised to know that there are women still silently suffering. They changed their life for a man who is completely ungrateful and fails to recognize the things they contribute because she can’t deposit them in the bank account.

So don’t say we’re finished. We’re not done fighting for ourselves in the workplace, in everyday social interactions, and we sure as hell are not done at home.

We are not finished, because we are still not seen as equal or fully competent. How so you ask??

– We still have the cops called on us when we are just trying to ask for help from suffering with postpartum depression.

-We’re still afraid our access to affordable birth control will be taken away.

-Our daughters are still being sent home from school because they have to hide their knees and upper thighs and shoulders because they may tempt a man to pounce despite any spoken invitation or consent – not because THEY are afraid this will happen. Their educators are. The adults caring for them at school are. Those people are perpetuating this fear. In a way they are validating this fear.

-We still feel like we need to apologize for crying when we are passionate or emotional about something.

-Men still feel like they need to be ‘careful’ about what they say and do around women. Why? Because they were not taught how to just treat a woman like another human being instead of a fragile sexual object.

We are not finished, because our sons and daughters are being raised by father’s like the ones mentioned above. We are not finished, because we have to prevent our sons and daughters from becoming like the men mentioned above. We are not finished, because we have to stop our sons and daughters from partnering with and raising children with those men.

Being politically active is a fantastic way to fight this fight. Voting for representatives that align with your ideal is an outstanding way to fight this fight. Run for office yourself? Superb. However, I think the biggest battle is within our own homes. On our own streets. In our local grocery store. In any circumstance. For any reason. We have to stand up for ourselves in the everyday. We have to teach our children differently. We have to make a conscious effort to change our way of thinking and the words we use.

We have to rant. We have to rage.

 

Friday Favorites

We like to keep it light and airy on Fridays around here… so we thought today we’d each share some of our current favorite things. Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!

Ashley –

I live for daily updates from the blogs Whimsical September and Mommy In Heels. I obsessively follow both these ladies on all available social platforms, and am always curious to hear about what’s going on in their lives.

I recently bought these black leggings from Kohl’s. They are from their Lauren Conrad line. Listen. They’re perfection. Super comfy. Perfect thickness. I want to go buy ten more pairs.

In my Winter Fab Fit Fun Box I got these amazing under eye masks: Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks – 8 Pack. I blew through them…and at only $21 a box I will definitely purchase them again.

 I’ve been listening to these songs on repeat: Uh Huh by Julia Michaels // Never Be the Same by Camila Cabello // Reasons by Jillian Jacqueline

Rhonda –

I used to hate kitchen gadgets because I don’t have time for clutter and storing stuff that I rarely use.  However, one of my side gigs is reviewing products and I just fell in legit love with this Bella Spiralizer.  I want to spiralize ALL. THE. THINGS. Cleanup is fast and easy and it doesn’t take up much space!

Look, I love music.  Like, I love all of it. Sometimes I get completely obsessed with certain songs and artists and repeat them like crazy.  Currently, it’s all about Bebe Rexha.  I love her on both Meant to Be by Florida Georgia Line and Back to You with Louis Thompson.

My hair, y’all.  I am legit obsessed and this is my favorite color yet!  My hair stylist is a fucking magician and you need to go to her if you are anywhere near her.  There is a reason I drive 9 hours to get my hair done.  Those touches of orange and purple? SWOON.

What have been some of you guys’ favorite things lately??