If You Could Read My Mind

I’m a voracious reader, always have been. This summer alone, I’ve read about 20 books – only one of them pertained to work/educational matters…the rest were for pleasure. How delightful!! I read a lot of online publications as well, including New York magazine...which I find pretty great most of the time. I am, however, becoming more and more obsessed with The Strategist, their shopping/style/everything you need in your life guide – you must check it out!

Here’s a recent post of theirs on the Best Back-to-School stuff, and another on stuff that their editors are buying – I am constantly finding new products and new ideas at every price point. Love! Today, they posted some stuff that Lena Dunham can’t live without (I do enjoy how real her list is, bless her heart):
What Lena Dunham Can’t Live Without
By Lena Dunham

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked Lena Dunham about the Joe Boxer underpants and Glutino whole-wheat crackers she can’t live without, on the occasion of the August 1 release of Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart, the first book from Dunham and Jenni Konner’s new Lenny imprint.

So the way I got into Joe Boxer underwear was that I was staying at a hotel — there was some construction happening at my house — and I needed to Postmates some underwear. I ended up ordering from Kmart, and I said, “Just bring me a six-pack of anything.” What arrived was a pack of Joe Boxers. I love a slightly baggy, but fun underpant, and that is what came to me. Joe Boxer was cool and hip when I was 12, and now it’s a Kmart property. Leaving aside the ethical implications of that, I fucking love the underwear. I now order the string bikini brief in a large, even though a medium might be more supportive of my butt, but this gives me a little tail. A six-pack of three solids and three patterns for me is the perfect balance.
BUY
Joe Boxer Women’s 6-Pack Low-rise String Bikini Panties — Assorted
$7, Kmart


I am not in a position, at the age of 31, to be limping around Manhattan in a French slide that is actually causing me massive blisters. I just can’t pretend anymore. These Cole Haan sneakers have taken over my life. I wear them basically every day. They look like a cute tennis shoe, but they have a very supportive insole. You can throw them in the washing machine. And they finish any outfit off in a fun country-club style. I have them in black; they’re kind of the equivalent of a little French child’s shoe, which is a look I’m always chasing. They don’t have ostentatious branding either; I don’t need that in my life right now.
BUY
Cole Haan Women’s GrandPrø Tennis Sneaker
$130, Cole Haan


This was sent to me as a celebrity freebie, and I went through a phase, it was so dark, where I would just eat things that could support this ghee: a hamburger with some ghee on it, rice with ghee in it. Because ghee is used in Ayurvedic medicine, it felt sort of healthy, and my boyfriend had to be like, “You know you’re eating straight butter.” I gained like ten ghee pounds, but it was so delicious, especially the Himalayan-salt-flavored one.
BUY
4th & Heart Himalayan Pink Salt Grass-fed Ghee Butter
$9, Amazon

I’m very into snacks. I need to eat while I write, and this is something I feel like I can eat throughout the day and feel a little less deranged about — as opposed to, say, if I were just eating Cheetos. Things I put on my Glutino crackers include Kite Hill dairy-free cheese, almond butter — sometimes I eat a Glutino cracker by itself and wash it down with ginger ale, which is just the most luxurious in-bed combination.
BUY
Glutino Gluten-Free Crackers, Multigrain, Pack of 6
$30, Amazon


I like anything that’s a shortcut to being clean. I don’t want to shower that much; I don’t want to wash my face. When I’m shooting, I can’t be expected to get home at 11 p.m. and do a full facial cleansing. But I can wipe the crap out of my face until it’s bright red with these delicious natural cleansing wipes. They come in a chic little black package, and I keep them in my purse. I love that it’s founded by this woman who has a really cute and sexy Instagram — it makes me feel like I’m part of a whole “I don’t want to wash my face” movement. I’ve also been known to use them in my armpits.
BUY
Lauren Napier Facial Wipes
$20, Revolve Clothing


I have endometriosis, which I am very vocal about, and this heating pad is my biggest pain-reduction tool. It’s more expensive than your average heating pad, but it has a real weight to it. I’ll wrap it around my whole torso, and since I’m cold all the time, sometimes I rest it under my feet, which is a real luxury. My mom actually introduced me to it — she had shoulder issues — and she was like, “Welcome to the world of Battle Creek.” Anytime I have a friend diagnosed with endometriosis, I send them one of these.
BUY
Battle Creek Heating Pad
$58, Amazon


I wouldn’t recommend anyone stay at the hospital for 17 days, but I would say the primary benefit are the socks they give you: They are amazing. So soft. They feel like they’ve been worn 1,000 times, even when they’re fresh out of the package. They’re terry cloth, and they have treads, so you don’t slip on the hospital floor when you’re taking a constitutional. The thing is, who doesn’t need that in their apartment, too? They’ve replaced slippers for me 100 percent. You just can’t be bothered by the slightly morose aspect of it.
BUY
Silvert’s Senior Care Nonskid Hospital Socks
From $8, Amazon


My friend Paul introduced me to Salonpas strips — they reduce inflammation if, say, you pull your back out, or have cramps, or if you do something on set and hurt your wrist or ankle. I love anything that involves a tingle — like if you take a B12 vitamin and your face turns red, or eat shellfish and get a slight allergic reaction. That’s what this feels like.
BUY
Salonpas Pain Relieving Patches
$10, Amazon

Here are a few of my favorite new things this month (not nearly as diverse/random or entertaining as Lena’s, but…she’s light years ahead of me on the hip scale):

This new hoop I got in my daith piercing the other day:

The doctor told the Wee One that she needed to take a Calcium supplement – I need to do so as well (because aging sucks), so we tried these chocolate chews…they’re yummy:

My obsession with gummi vitamins continues…check out these Vitamin Cs:

This lotion is hands down the best thing I have EVER used to combat my stupid dry skin:

I got two sets of Turkish cotton bath towels – one in pink and one in black. I used these when I lived in England, but had forgotten just how crazy much I loved them:

Finally, I bring you this joy:

I know, I know…will I ever grow up? (It’s doubtful)

Happy Wednesday, friends! 🙂

To Make You Feel My Love

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and love is (hopefully) in your air – here are some ideas of goodies to give to your lady love, your BFF, or even yourself. Happy shopping! 🙂

I want one of these! LOVE!
Parisian Love Lock & Key — I want one of these! LOVE! Available from Olive and Cocoa
I'm so taken with the simplicity of this necklace :-)
I’m so taken with the simplicity of this necklace 🙂 Available from Olive and Cocoa
Amethyst Air Plant - I'm crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa...maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! ;-)
Amethyst Air Plant – I’m crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa…maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! 😉 Available from Etsy

 

I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry
I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry. Available from Amazon

 

You can never go wrong with perfume - this is one of my all-time favorites!
You can never go wrong with perfume – this is one of my all-time favorites! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

Another great perfume!
Another great perfume! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse - this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209...or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!
You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse – this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209…or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!

 

If jewelry is something you’re thinking is in the cards for you and your Valentine this year, how about giving a moonstone ring some thought?? I am WILD about moonstone – check out these stunning options (all available on Etsy):

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So. Beautiful.

Hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas for the lady in your life (or yourself!) — check back again soon to see my roundup of suggestions for the men you know and love! 🙂

xxx

My Grown Up Christmas List

Alright, friends – here are some gift ideas for your loved ones for Christmas!! There is no theme to this list (other than awesomeness)…it’s just a bunch of things that are currently tickling my fancy. 🙂 Enjoy! 🙂

 

1) This camera:

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2) This ring:

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3) This necklace:

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4) This book:

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5) These office supplies:

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6) These journals/notebooks:

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7) Stranger Things Cross Stitch:

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8) This book:

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9) This record – and this one, too!:

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10) This yoga kit:

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Happy shopping! Ho ho ho!

xxx

That’s What Friends Are For

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I’m watching “When Harry Met Sally” as the rain pounds against my windows, for the third day in a row. The air is so wet and cool, I feel like I’m back in England…but it’s done a lot to get me in the spirit of Christmas. I love it! I’m finally starting to feel festive – ho!ho!ho! Oh, by the way – this movie totally stands up…it’s still fantastic. The back and forth between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is so absolutely delightful – even though I’ve seen this movie 264 times (at least), I still feel like I’m falling in love, too, as I watch this. Awesome! 🙂

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I came across this article recently, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! 🙂

How To Get People To Like You: 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert

Meeting new people can be awkward. What should you say? How can you make a good impression? How do you keep a conversation going?
Research shows relationships are vital to happiness and networking is the key to getting jobs and building a fulfilling career.

Robin was head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program and has studied interpersonal relations for over 27 years. He’s an expert on how to make people like you.

1) The Most Important Thing To Do With Anyone You Meet

Robin’s #1 piece of advice: “Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.”
Ask questions. Listen. But don’t judge. Nobody — including you — likes to feel judged.

Studies show people get more pleasure from talking about themselves than they do from food or money:
Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money…

2) Suspend Your Ego To Get People To Like You

Most of us are just dying to point out how other people are wrong. (Comment sections on the internet are fueled by this, aren’t they?)
And it kills rapport. Want to correct someone? Want to one-up them with your clever little story? Don’t do it.

Contradicting people doesn’t build relationships. Dale Carnegie said it many years ago — and modern neuroscience agrees.
When people hear things that contradict their beliefs, the logical part of their mind shuts down and their brain prepares to fight.

3) How To Be A Good Listener

We’ve all heard that listening skills are vital but nobody explains the right way to do it. What’s the secret?
Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying right now.
Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you.
What you do is this: as soon as you have that story or thought that you want to share, toss it. Consciously tell yourself, “I am not going to say it.”
All you should be doing is asking yourself, “What idea or thought that they mentioned do I find fascinating and want to explore?”
Research shows just asking people to tell you more makes you more likable and gets them to want to help you.

4) The Best Question To Ask People

Life can be tough for everyone: rich or poor, old or young. Everyone.
We all face challenges and we like to talk about them. So that’s what to ask about.

Questions are incredibly powerful. What’s one of the most potent ways to influence someone? Merely asking for advice.

5) How To Make Strangers Feel At Ease

First thing: tell them you only have a minute because you’re headed out the door.

Research shows just asking people if now is a good time makes them more likely to comply with requests:
The results showed that compliance rates were higher when the requester inquired about respondents’ availability and waited for a response than when he pursued his set speech without waiting and inquiring about respondents’ availability.
Nobody wants to feel trapped talking to some weirdo. People are more likely to help you than you think, but they need to feel safe and in control.

6) The Best Body Language For Building Rapport

Your words should be positive, free of ego and judgment — and your body language (“non-verbals”) needs to match.

From Dale Carnegie to peer-reviewed studies, everyone says smiles matter. (In fact, to increase their power, smile slower.)
It makes us happier too. Neuroscience research shows smiling gives the brain as much pleasure as 2000 bars of chocolate — or $25,000.

Depending on whose smile you see, the researchers found that one smile can be as pleasurable and stimulating as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate! …it took up to 16,000 pounds sterling in cash to generate the same level of brain stimulation as one smile! This is equivalent to about $25,000 per smile…

7) How To Deal With Someone You Don’t Trust
Don’t be hostile but be direct: ask them what they want. What are their goals in this interaction?

I watch for validation. If someone is trying to validate me and my thoughts and opinions, I am alert to it. I love doing that as well. So now I’m looking for intent. Are you there for me or are you there for you? If you are there strictly for your own gain and you’re not talking in terms of my priorities ever, that’s when I’m seeing someone is there to manipulate me.
Want to build a connection with someone? Focus on trust, not tricks. That’s how you earn respect. Trust is fragile. And mistrust is self-fulfilling.

Sum Up

Here are Robin’s tips:
The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.
Suspend your ego. Focus on them.
Really listen, don’t just wait to talk. Ask them questions; don’t try to come up with stories to impress.
Ask people about what’s been challenging them.
Establishing a time constraint early in the conversation can put strangers at ease.
Smile, chin down, blade your body, palms up, open and upward non-verbals.
If you think someone is trying to manipulate you, clarify goals. Don’t be hostile or aggressive, but ask them to be straight about what they want.
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I love this article, don’t you? I find that I feel so ridiculously awkward 99.7% of the time, and I feel like it’s nearly impossible for me to make connections with people, and I have no idea why. This never used to be a problem, but somehow as I’ve aged, it has become one. I just don’t get it. I think I’m interesting and kinda fun, but…this is not a popular opinion that is shared by many, sadly. Boo! Hiss! That’s kind of why I liked this article – maybe if I apply some of these tips, I will have more success with people. I’ve never thought that I was a person who monopolized conversations talking about myself, but…perhaps I’ve become one? (I bloody hope not – I loathe that quality in people) I try to be a good listener, but maybe I am not 110% present and engaged – this could actually be part of my problem. I’ve been thinking about presence lately, and trying to stop with the distractions that are always running rampant in my head. I like it when someone I am with looks at me, speaks to me, pays attention to me – and not their phone/the tv/whatever other distractions are going on around them. I am trying to learn to be present, to give those around me the same respect and attention that I want from them. This article from Zen Habits has some great suggestions on being present – they suggest a small regular practice of meditation (I downloaded some Gabby Bernstein meditations yesterday, I am SO trying this one this week!), work with others (on meditation, on whatever you are working on within yourself – three cheers for accountability partners), have mindfulness bells (set alarms on your phone/computer to remind you to pause and pay attention to what is going on around you), set an intention before an activity (I want to set intentions for my days as I begin them in the morning – how will you know if you’re where you’re supposed to be unless you know where it is that you want to go?), reflect daily (I’m such a fan of a few quiet moments at the end of the day – I really ought to get back to journaling, though), and finally, see everything as a teacher, meaning step out of the moment and see what you could possibly learn from these moments by being present. I’m not sure if these tips will do much, but…what harm is there in trying, eh? I’ve been working hard on cutting down on my technology consumption lately, and I’m finding that a) it has me feeling better, and b) I’m also becoming increasingly annoyed at how dependent those around me are on the technology in their lives – which is stupid. What other people do is none of my business, so why get worked up about it? Time for more zen….or perhaps Zinfandel? 😉

Xxx

Repost: It’s a Hard Knock Life

I began building a database recently, using data collected from some questionnaires that our seniors filled out a couple of weeks ago. As I was doing this, I so admired the ambition of some of our students – ER/Trauma Medicine, Social Justice Attorney, Petroleum Engineering (I don’t even know what this is, but I can imagine…however, when I was 17 years old, I wouldn’t have had a hot clue), Creative Writing degrees (AKA The Barista Program)…there were some really beautiful, lofty ideas there – and reading all of them made me so envious of the opportunities a lot of these kids have. When I was in school, I couldn’t have imagined having the belief in myself to decide to pursue a degree in Creative Writing, Fashion or something else that may not be the most ‘practical’ choice (but man alive were those the things that I most wanted out of life) – I was full of hopes, and things that I wanted to study and learn…but, they seemed to be flights of fancy, and I knew that I didn’t have the time and/or money to pursue anything that wasn’t going to get my through my education in the quickest way possible – so I chose to study in the Faculty of Education, with a concentration on Secondary Education, Double Major in English and French. I decided to become a teacher because it was something I knew, something I knew that I would be good at, and I would enjoy the variety of working with kids – because they’re funny and learning is just plain awesome. I have never regretted my decision to study Education, but I have always been full of the feeling that I am meant to do other things as well. I would never turn my back on my career in Education – one way or another, I will always have a toe in this pond, because I believe in Public Education very passionately, and we desperately need people around who do still believe (there aren’t enough of us, let me tell you). However, I somehow find it difficult to believe that this is all that I’m meant for – I don’t mean that in a snobby way at all, I just feel that there is SO much more out there for me to sink my teeth in to. This is probably why I do a lot of the things I do – I’m always studying something (whether it’s for my job or my own amusement), I live to try new things, I read constantly…there are so damn many beautiful, glorious things out there and not enough time to get to them all, so I think we owe it to ourselves to stick our straw in as many experiences as we can and slurp them up, don’t you? 🙂
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I also didn’t know that there were so many options available when I was in school – probably because I grew up in the Middle of Nowhere, Canada, so I wasn’t exactly exposed to much. (True Story: One of my earliest ambitions was to be a writer on Degrassi – it still is, come to think of it…I figure I would be perfect for the job: I’ve watched every series of Degrassi since Kids of Degrassi Street began around 1980 or so, I know all of the characters and storylines, I’m Canadian (so I’m down with the vernacular, eh), and I’ve spent the last 20 years working with teenagers (so I know the scary things that go through their minds)…I think I’d be awesome! If anybody knows anyone on Degrassi, PLEASE SEND THEM MY WAY AND HELP A GIRL’S DREAMS COME TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 🙂 One of the kids I work with this year is interested in getting in to Public Relations – I had NO idea that such a field existed when I was in school, did you? I suppose that so much of what we know depends on where we are from, what we’ve been exposed to, etc.. although the Internet revolution has certainly changed that up considerably. I love that our students today have the world before them, and so many opportunities that we didn’t have even 20 years ago – but, at the same time, there are so many more hoops for them to jump through these days…if you get yourself into a good college, you deserve a big ol’ pat on the back, because getting there is NOT easy. Between the FAFSA and the rest of the Financial Aid finanglings, the application process and the SATs/ACTs…it’s like a full-time job just working your way through all of this. We hosted a Financial Aid information session for our parents recently, and I was overwhelmed with feelings of wanting to hug each set of parents that attended. They were all there because they desperately want to help their children get a good education, but watching their faces drop and become considerably paler as they learned all about the complicated processes involved in Financial Aid made me feel physically ill – it shouldn’t be this difficult. Getting an education should not be as hard and soul-destroying as it is…it just shouldn’t. 😦

As I’ve been working on this database project and learning more about the hopes and dreams of those around me (it is seriously fascinating stuff), I’ve been listening to some music….and the song “Try” from P!nk came on:

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try

That’s kind of the message that I want to send out to my students as they are preparing to leave the safety net of high school and stare down the real world and make it their bitch – things are going to happen, you’re going to get kicked around a lot, and everything is going to seem impossible at least once an hour, but…whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP. Just get up and try try try. I need to hear those words myself from time to time….don’t we all? 🙂

xxx

Repost: Blow My Mind

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I came across this article last night, and I cannot stop thinking about it. In the piece, this man (Dan Pearce is his name) breaks down the 16 things that he did to contribute to the demise of his two marriages (he also wrote a follow up list of another 15) – first, the honesty that he showed with the things that he said is VERY humbling…I’ve had more than my share of blame over the demise of relationships (they’re probably all my fault, truth be told), and I know how very, very difficult it is to own what you did wrong – and to own it so publicly is truly something to behold. Second, this article was written by a MAN – and, while I love men more than most women do (she says in one of the greatest understatements ever made), I can certainly acknowledge their shortcomings in the areas of ‘owning up to their mistakes’ and ‘sharing emotions publicly’. I just really think his lists are humbling, and oh so very true – I can find many reasons on there that have contributed to the end of some of my own relationships…here are the things he advises to help you NOT blow up your marriage/relationship (read the full article – link up there – for details and explanations):

  1. Don’t stop holding her hand.                                                                

2. Don’t stop trying to be attractive.

  1. Don’t always point out her weaknesses.

4. Don’t stop cooking for her.

5. Don’t yell at your spouse.                                                                        

6.Don’t call names.

7. Don’t be stingy with your money.       
                                              
8. Don’t argue in front of the kids.
9. Don’t encourage each other to skip working out.                  
10. Don’t poop with the bathroom door open.
11. Don’t stop kissing her.                                                                                
 
12. Don’t stop having fun together.
13. Don’t pressure each other.                                                                    
 
14. Don’t label each other with negative labels.
 
15. Don’t skip out on things that are important to her.           
 
16. Don’t emotionally distance yourself after a fight.
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Great, right??! There are SO many things on there that can be used to help with any relationship that you have going on – loved ones, friends, children, co-workers (I imagine that heeding the advice to not poop with the bathroom door open would indeed help you win friends and influence people in the workplace), pretty much everyone. Here’s my take on this list – I agree with #1…I love love LOVE holding hands (as you know if you’re a regular reader, I write about this topic all the damn time), and I’m a firm believer in the idea that holding hands will carry you through most things. #2 makes perfect sense to me – I always try to fuss with my appearance…a) because I need all the help I can get, and b) you never know who is falling in love with you at any given moment, so you might as well give them something good to look at. 🙂 #3 makes a lot of sense to me – I loathe having my shortcomings pointed out by anyone, least of all someone who is meant to love me and be my biggest supporter…that kind of behavior is just NOT helpful. #4 sounds divine – anytime someone cooks for me is the very best time, so this one would win some MAJOR points with me. 🙂 #5 is a no-brainer…I don’t like being yelled at, so the chances of me yelling at someone else are pretty slim. The same goes for #6 – I’m not much of a name-caller (apart from pet names – I call everybody and their kitten a pet name), and I can confidently say that this is not something I’ve ever done to drive somebody away. I could not agree with #7 more – you can’t take money with you when you die, so you’d be better served to use it and spend it and make the most of it while you are alive. I hate it when one side of the couple makes the other side feel guilty about money spending…that’s just not fair. #8 is a non-negotiable, as far as I’m concerned. Children have such a short time to be children, so why shorten that time by forcing them to be part of your bullshit? Whatever you’re upset about can most certainly wait, I promise.  #9 – I just want my sweet baboo to feel happy and healthy…if they want to work out to get there, three cheers for them – if they would rather use their P90X videos to cure their wretched case of insomnia, then that is fine, too. I just know that, when it comes to everyone that I love and care about, I want them around for a LONG time. 🙂 #10 – I used to think that this was just common sense, but…I may be coming around on this one. Perhaps the couple that poops together stays together??! Either way, peeing in front of each other is fine…and actually kind of endearing. 😉 #11 is GREAT – kissing is good fun and should happen ALL THE DAMN TIME!!! 🙂 You can’t kiss somebody and still be pissy with them, so…more kissing! #12 is one that hits pretty close to home with me, as I have lost a relationship that I valued to this one…we just stopped having fun. I understand that life isn’t always a non-stop party and that there are times when shit has to get done…but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun whilst taking care of the shit, does it? I think it’s SO important for couples to continue to woo each other, whether they’ve been together 2 weeks or 22 years…whether they are married, dating, or both (with different people). You can’t put a price tag on how great it feels to have fun and be woo’d, and, truthfully, it doesn’t cost much to do it up right – so pull a Nike, friends…and JUST DO IT! 🙂 I’m getting the squirmies about #13 a wee bit – I’ve been known to resort to this tactic, and it’s no good…I shouldn’t have done it, and I know how little I care for it when it has been done to me. Pressuring people to do what you want defeats the whole purpose of getting what you want – because you will always know that it was an ill-gotten gain, and that you only got it because of the pressure you put on…and that just stinks. 😦 I most certainly don’t do #14 – read what I wrote about the sweet, romantic, cutesy-til-you-barf pet names up there, and you will see that negative labels are just like calling names to me – a place that I do not go. #15 is a biggie for me, as well…I have had the unfortunate life experience that whoever I have been with, life has become pretty much ALL about them. I have thrown my support behind them/their careers/their interests…while very little has come back towards me. Why the hell is that? Am I not interesting? Am I not fascinating and worthy of the attention? Most days I kind of think I am (see that? the whole self-love idea is actually starting to sink in!!! Holy shit – look out, world!) – and I can’t imagine how exciting it would be to have someone interested in the things that I am doing. Now, to say that I’ve never received that kind of support is unfair – of course I have, just not to the same degree with which I’ve given it, which is unfortunate, but…perhaps someday that will change. Or it won’t. Either way, I will be fine. 🙂 And, finally #16 – this is something that I personally NEVER do, simply because I can’t contemplate how much that kind of behavior would hurt me. It would be AWFUL to be completely shut out from someone you care for, and…I’m just not having any part of that.
Isn’t this a great article? You really need to check it out, and be sure to read the other 15 things as well – his entire blog, Single Dad Laughing, is really great…but this list in particular is pretty mind-blowing to me. :)I love you, my beauties, and I hope that you’re having yourselves a beautiful day! 🙂 Now, go on and love someone! 🙂
xxx

Repost: Expect No Mercy

I have written before about my struggles with managing my expectations, and I thought for the longest time that I was one of the only people who had a hard time with this. As I looked around, it seemed to me that everybody else was really great at this, going through life with what they wanted being in perfect alignment with what they got, and everything just hunky dory. It pissed me off, wondering why everybody else seemed so good at this, and I completely sucked. I spend most days thinking that I want certain things, that I deserve some stuff, and yet – nothing. It’s so frustrating.


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Thankfully, I’ve had a few situations come my way recently that have shed some light on this one for me. This weekend, a girlfriend of mine called, all upset about a situation she was going through. She had met a really nice guy recently and was totally into him, and was feeling pretty positive about the two of them and the possibility of things blossoming into a relationship. However, there was one thing missing: sex. They had only tried to get it on twice during their dating time, and it didn’t ‘work’ either time. The wind wasn’t in the sails, if you get my drift. She tried talking to him about it, and his response was that he was really nervous, which was affecting his performance. She had a most unusual reaction to this – whereas most of us may take this as a sign that he likes us a lot and embark on a quest to put him at ease and help him relax, she responded with, “If he’s nervous about being with me, then he thinks he’s dating up and that I’m too good for him, and if he thinks that then he’s probably right and I am too good, so …maybe I should end it and find someone much better looking who is more of my equal”.(she clearly has a rather inflated sense of self, but…that’s a story for a different day) Her expectations were that he should be boning her 24-7 and thanking his lucky stars that her lady business welcomed him in – and the fact that there’s a tiny bump in the road wasn’t part of her plan at all. I’m not sure how this scenario will play out, whether she will dump the guy and move on to someone more Zoolander-ish, or whether she will stick it out and try to work through this rather awkward situation. What would you do? 🙂

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Every day I work at managing my expectations – I regularly think that things ought to go a certain way for me at work, and when they don’t and there are roadblocks, I get frustrated and wonder why I expected so much in the first place. When I want to spend time with people and they aren’t as gung ho about it as I am, I get annoyed and can’t understand their indifference…why do I think they are every shade of awesome, and they are kind of ‘eh’ about me…that bugs the shit out of me! 😦 The worst part is that as much as I expect of those around me (which is too much, I know), I expect WAYYYYYY more from myself – and do I ever get pissed off when I fail to live up to my own hype. It sadly happens far too often. 😦 The experts have a ton of opinions on how to make expectations more realistic, how to manage your ideals of your self, and how to give yourself a break – here’s a few of their tips:

  • Discover that everything we need to be happy, we already have inside ourselves
  • Realize that our happiness does not have to be contingent on people, places, or things
  • Learn to differentiate between reality and unrealistic expectations
  • Engage in relentless communication with ourselves and those around us. Surely we are intelligent enough to realize that all we really have control over is what’s happening right now in this moment. 

That’s some good advice, don’t you think? Some researchers at The University of Texas Austin had the following suggestions on managing your expectations when it comes to relationships:

  • Communicate what your needs and expectations are; expectations should be kept within reason.
  • Be willing to negotiate and compromise on the things you want from one another.
  • Do not demand that your partner change to meet all your expectations. Work to accept the differences between your ideal mate and the real person you are dating or married to.
  • Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with one another all the time, but rather understand and respect each other’s differences, points of view and separate needs.
  • Where critical differences do exist in your expectations, needs or opinions, try to work honestly and sincerely to negotiate. Seek professional help early rather than waiting until the situation becomes critical.
  • Do your best to treat your partner in a way that says, “I love you and trust you, and I want to work this out.” 

I think there are some really good ones in there, don’t you? I personally find it really hard to handle when I am disappointed by someone, when I expect them to be one way and do things a certain way…and when that doesn’t happen, well, I find it sometimes crushing. A lot of it comes down to effort – I try my best with most things that I do, I mean well, and I expect that from others…which can be, at times, unfair. People are who they are, and they do what they do, and the sooner I – and all of us – realize that, the better off we will be. Do you agree? 🙂

 

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I have been doing a lot of reading recently on the idea of ‘Manifesting’, and using the power of your positive thoughts to bring things to life. This idea, also known as the law of attraction (as well as about a hundred different titles), is nothing new, and there are many, MANY great believers in the magic and the power of this concept. I love the idea of it – if you think good things, they will happen…it’s kind of like ‘Field of Dreams’ – “if you build it, they will come”. However, the ‘do-er’ in me finds this to be a tough one – for me, it’s not always enough to just think something and believe it with every ounce of my being…I want to, no make that HAVE to, be doing something to make my dreams come true. I often wonder if I gave myself a break, focused more on the positive thoughts and their power in the universe, if I may not find the success and good things that I so crave??! 🙂 One idea of manifestation that I can really get on board with is the idea of not speaking badly about yourself…I have LONG suffered from this one – I’m the first person to insult myself, my sharp and cutting remarks launch out of my mouth as a preemptive strike of sorts, in the hopes that whatever unkind words somebody else may make towards me will pale in comparison to the self-depracating chatter that I already said. Isn’t that ridiculous? I know. I used to think that these sort of self-mocking comments were charming, but they aren’t – not in the least. They are hurtful, stupid, and unnecessary. I don’t need to do anything but sing my own praises – and I sure don’t need to make fun of myself. I may not be perfect, I’m not gorgeous, or brilliant, or talented, or successful…but I am me. And that’s all that I can expect from myself….and it is MORE than enough. 🙂

xxx

I’m On Fire

I came across this 2014 interview with Sarah Jessica Parker recently, and I was reminded of just how much I adore her. There are very few people that I dig enough to wish that I had some of their qualities and characteristics, but…she’s one. I think she’s delightful – and I think I could really love a life like hers. 😊

Here’s the questions from the interview – let’s play along and answer them, shall we?

 

1. How long have you been in the area? I’ve lived where I am now in Texas since 2007.

2. What’s your favorite season in New York City? Fall – I love Fall anywhere and everywhere!

3. What’s your favorite activity in New York City? Walking, walking, walking…that’s what I hate the most about San Antonio — it’s the worst city ever for walking.

4. Would you ever leave New York City? I wish I lived in NYC!! I would absolutely leave San Antonio, provided I was moving on to something bigger and better, and taking the Muppet with me.

5. What are three words to describe living in New York City? Magic, electric, fast.

6. What’s your favorite movie? Pulp Fiction/The English Patient/Shakespeare in Love

7. Favorite movie in past five years? Argo

8. Favorite Hitchcock film? I don’t think I have seen enough of them to choose a favorite

9. Favorite TV show that’s currently on? This Is Us, Girls, Divorce, Homeland

10. What’s a book you plan on reading? This list is loooooonnnnggggg…I’ve recently started re-reading Shakespeare’s Complete Works, so how about we go with that? 🙂

11. A book you read in school that positively shaped you? The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence — still such a fave 🙂

12. A book you read in school that you never think of? Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness….that sucker went right over my head. Yuck.

13. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now? I would say a solid 7.75.

14. iPhone or Android? iPhone

15. Twitter or Instagram? Instagram

16. Vine or Snapchat? Neither – I get so annoyed at peeps who are obsessed with Snapchat and think I ought to be, too. Yawn.

17. Who should EVERYONE be following right now? Hillary Clinton/POTUS/FLOTUS/CNN

18. What’s the coolest thing in this room? My ‘Lucky Me’ sign 🙂

19. What’s your favorite downtown restaurant? Max’s Wine Dive

20. What’s your favorite food? Sushi

21. Least favorite food? Brussels sprouts

22. What do you love on your pizza? Either ham and pineapple, or fresh mozzarella with Roma tomatoes and fresh basil.

23. Favorite drink? Molson Canadian beer

24. Favorite dessert? Cherry cheesecake

25. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Dark chocolate

26. Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Sheep brain – I didn’t know what I was eating…I’m still traumatized.

27. What’s the hardest part about being a mom? Everything – specifically feeling like nothing I do will ever be enough.

28. What’s your favorite band? Oasis or The Mavericks

29. Favorite solo artist? Alanis Morissette

30. Favorite lyrics? That I would be good, Even if I did nothing.

31. If your life were a song, what would the title be? The Long and Winding Road

32. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be? Michael Buble, Lady Gaga, or Harry Connick Jr

33. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? Violin

34. If you had a tattoo, where would it be? I have 7 already, but I will get a few more: one on the inside of my wrist, one on the bottom of my foot, and one on my upper back.

35. To be or not to be? Always to be.

36. What’s Oprah like in person? I’m sure she’s pretty much like anyone else – she puts her pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of the world.

37. What number of question was this? Haha

38. Dogs or cats? Dogs

39. Kittens or puppies? Kitties!!

40. Dolphins or koalas? Dolphins

41. Bird-watching or whale-watching? Whale-watching

42. What’s your spirit animal? Unicorn all the way!

43. Best gift you’ve ever received? My Muppet 🙂

44. Last gift you gave a friend? A sketchbook doodle pad

45. A person you want to have coffee with? My friend Soupsie- I miss her and wish we lived closer.

46. A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with? Marilyn Monroe

47. How do you like your coffee? Cream and Sweet-n-Low

48. Can I play a note on this piano? N/A

49. What’s your favorite curse word? Crikey…where to start? I love ’em all, but I’m partial to cock-sucker.

50. What’s your favorite board game? Clue

51. What’s your favorite country to visit? France or Greece

52. What’s the last country you visited? France

53. What country do you wish to visit? Bali

54. What do you see in this image right here? N/A

55. Can you write down your favorite word that starts and ends with the same vowel? Elegance

56. What’s your favorite color? Black

57. Least favorite color? Brown

58. What color dress did you wear to your prom? We didn’t have prom, but my grad dress was teal

59. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

60. Cheap shampoo or expensive? Cheap

61. Blow-dry or air-dry? Air-dry, if at all possible

62. Heels or flats? Heels

63. Can you give an impersonation of someone? N/A

64. Can you do the same impersonation with a British accent? N/A

65. My friend outside this window would love to ask you a question? N/A

66. [Holding two different colored dresses] Which should I give my girlfriend? N/A

67. Pilates or yoga? Yoga

68. Jogging or swimming? Swimming

69. Best way to decompress? Reading or watching TV

70. If you had one superpower, what would it be? Time travel

71. Can you describe an experience you felt most nervous? The day that I gave birth….I was nervous, anxious, and looking for a way out of the whole thing. I’m glad I pushed through (pun intended) – the kid is pretty awesome. 🙂

72. What’s the weirdest word in the English language? Moist

73. Last question: Is this the strangest interview you’ve ever had? N/A

 

Fun, right? 🙂 Happy Friday, friends! 🙂

xxx