Day Drinkin’

I spent a recent afternoon at a distillery. This, if you know me IRL, doesn’t sound like that far-fetched of an activity — but it kind of was at this time of year, when I am knee deep in preparations for the upcoming academic year, and I’ve been trying to do all that I can to be efficient at work and make my tough situation better. However, every now and then a girl has to just say screw it and go drink some vodka in the afternoon.

I had purchased a Groupon for a tour of Artisan on Alamo Distillery here in San Antonio a number of months back. After some email exchanges with a super nice guy named Nick, I had my booking for a 4:00pm tour. Upon arrival downtown, I walked in to a very cool, unpretentious looking small bar, with interesting seating and cool light fixtures (I’m obsessed with light fixtures). Nick introduced himself, checked me in and scanned my Groupon, handed me a set of souvenir glasses and said we’d be starting shortly. A few other people drifted in, making up our motley crew of vodka drinkers, and Nick began teaching us his art.

Let’s start with that, shall we? This dude is an artist….not just with the pieces he has created to decorate the place, but in the spirits that he’s making. He has come up with a way to make vodka out of the cacti that grow rampant around here. I’m serious. Cactus vodka. And, before you traditionalists turn up your sweet, snobby noses, listen to me for a moment: it’s delicious. And a brilliant idea. And I, too, am jealous as hell that I didn’t think of it. GREAT job, Nick! Anyway, I, getting ahead of myself – back to the tour.

Nick explained the theories and ideas behind the art of distilling, and how he came into this line of work. (I’m not sure if he refers to it as a calling or not, but he should) He answered questions, kept the flow going, and was an excellent host. He took us into the back area, showed us the cacti he harvests and uses, and demonstrated the fermentation process. Next, we saw the stills he had going, and he did a brilliant job of breaking down the chemistry of the operation into something that could be easily understood by a bunch of day drinkers in south Texas. From there, we went to his bottling station, where he filled a bottle, capped that bad boy, and had a label slapped on it in less than a minute. He explained that he does that part of the distribution operation himself, so no wonder efficiency is key.

Spike Vodka was the product made from prickly pear cactus, and it had a lovely taste, reminiscent of tequila, perhaps. He gave us taste samples of his products straight, which is the only way to taste vodka if you ask me. As well, he offered suggestions of different ways to drink them (he suggested Spike, for example, in a Bloody Mary, and let me tell you, I cannot wait to give that a whirl – except I’m Canadian, so I will be making mine a Caesar and using Clamato juice and calling it a day) and explained how the different flavors pair well with different things. The other vodka we sampled, Texas Pride, was a really delicious, straight forward vodka that didn’t quite have the richness of flavors that was present in the Spike, but would certainly be an excellent choice for preparing mixed drinks.

At the end of the tour, I ordered a couple drinks from the bar – it was Happy Hour, and I was damn happy to be there! The drinks were delicious (I had a coconut concoction that was so delightful from beginning to end that I weep at the memory of it), and the bar was really relaxed, a great place to end the day. I decided to buy a bottle of Spike to bring home (those Caesars and Bloody Marys won’t make themselves), and Nick was kind enough to sign the bottle for me. Love that. ❤️

If you’re in the area, please go and give this place a try – you won’t be disappointed. As well, you can buy both Texas Pride and Spike at Total Wine and other liquor stores, so please give them a whirl and support a local business. You’ll be getting a yummy product, and supporting your own community. Everybody wins!

Cheers!

Xxx

PS: Click here to read a San Antonio Current feature on this place – yaa!!!

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Teach Me Tonight

It's not terribly surprising that I have worked most of my life in Education, as I am a person who absolutely LOVES learning. I am always trying to pick up something new (whether I've talent or aptitude for it at all), and I can't imagine a day without learning something. I have done yoga off and on for years, and I've decided that I would like to kick my yoga practice up a notch (and kick my fat arse in gear at the same time), so I'm thinking about embarking on my yoga teaching certification. I highly doubt that I will EVER use it professionally (I somehow doubt people will want to sign up for a class taught by someone as fluffy as me), but I think it would be fun, and good for my soul….and there ain't nothing wrong with that. 🙂

Something else that I want to learn is the art of lettering – like this:

Despite my mad love of all things art and artistic, I have next to no skills in this department, so this is stepping WAY outside of my comfort box! However, those are the things that make me feel most alive – when I am hanging on a ledge with no clue what I am doing, I feel like my heart is actually beating for a purpose…and I LOVE it. There is an introduction class currently available online from Brit+Co, and I am going to sign myself up for that one. It's safe to try something new in the privacy of your own home, where no one is around to catch the feeble early efforts. I'm excited! Who knows? Maybe I will have some wild inner talent for this and will soon be able to decorate my home (and yours!) with pretty projects??! Okay, I know it's not very likely, but…it sure is fun to dream. 🙂

What kinds of things are you learning, ,friends? If you happen to be mastering the fine art of cooking, please be sure to let me know…I promise to offer my taste-testing skills any time you want! 🙂

Xxx

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! 🙂

If I Knew You Were Comin’, I’d Have Baked a Cake

I’m posting the original recipes photo, as it is SO pretty – but, no lie here, mine totally looks like this (minus the carrot hearts). Delicious!

Since having some health issues last fall (massive gall bladder infection/emergency surgery/near-death experience), I have had a miserable time eating. This has been sad, as I am a girl who LOVES food (check out the width of my arse to validate that statement). I have been going through a process of elimination kind of thing, and have determined that wheat/gluten and dairy were causing my issues – so about 7 weeks ago, I quit both. Cold turkey. It sucked. I nearly wept for cheese (okay, I totally did), and I began looking at dinner rolls like they were lined with gold and stuffed with diamonds, but I stuck to my guns (and my restrictive diet). It made a MASSIVE difference – I felt 168% better – woohoo! I am hoping that this change isn’t forever, but that, after a reboot of sorts, I will be able to return to my regularly-scheduled eating. However, in the meantime, I am learning a whole new way of cooking and eating – and, honestly, it ain’t been that bad. I came across this recipe for Healthified Carrot Cake this weekend, and it turned out frighteningly delicious – who knew? My kid even ate some – woohoo!!! Double success!! Here’s the recipe:

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup + 6 tbsp of my gf flour mix {1/2 cup brown rice flour, ½ cup tapioca starch, 6 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour/glutinous rice flour, ½ tsp guar gum}{or, if using a store-bought mix I recommend using 1¼ cups of Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend}.
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup maple syrup {or another liquid sweetener like agave, etc.}
½ cup unsweetened applesauce {for a homemade version, see here}
1 tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1 cup of add-ins of your choice: I used ½ cup raisins, ½ cup walnuts {other traditional add-ins you can try: other nuts or dried fruit, shredded coconut}

Frosting Ingredients:
1½ cups cashews, presoaked for at least a few hours {or for 15 mins in boiled water, if in a rush}
⅓ cup water or non-dairy milk, warm or at room temperature {milk would give it a slightly whiter look}
¼ cup maple syrup, at room temperature {or liquid sweetener of your choice}
3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp lemon juice, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional Carrot Hearts Topping:
a few extra carrots and a tiny heart cookie cutter {I used the one that came with my linzer cookie cutters set}

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter an 8″ x 12″ cake pan {or anything of a similar size} and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add in sweetener, applesauce, and lemon juice and use a mixer to mix everything together. Add in the grated carrots mix through once more to incorporate. Fold in the add-in items. Transfer this batter into the prepared cake pan. Level the top using a spatula to even out the surface.
Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 23 minutes until the top becomes golden and a skewer inserted down the center comes out dry. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting by placing all ingredients in a good blender and process until completely smooth {I used my Vitamix for this}. Adjust the sweetness to taste. Feel free to add a hint more water/milk to help blending as needed. Note that if your ingredients are not at room temp here, the coconut oil will begin to set before the frosting is blended through.
Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting over the top evenly. Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour or two to help the frosting set a little {unless you don’t mind a very soft frosting, of course 😉 }.
If using the carrot heart topping, simply slice the carrots into thin rounds {1/16″ of an inch or so}, and then use a little heart cutter to cut out a heart out of each slice. Sprinkle the hearts over the top of the cake, cut the cake into slices and serve! {Note: the carrots will brown up after a few hours, so best to make them & decorate with them right before serving}. Enjoy!

I didn’t make the heart-shaped carrots (I know my limitations), but I did pull off the rest of this recipe – and I’m totally pleased with how it turned out. Yaa! Even if you aren’t having to stick to a restrictive diet for health reasons, I would totally recommend the carrot cake – it’s pretty healthy, and dammmmmn delicious. Yum. Enjoy!

xxx

In the Mood

Check out this commercial from French supermarket chain Intermarché – it’s adorable:

I miss French thinking – the simplest things in life can be extraordinarily romantic…I don’t seem to see much of that here in the United States. What do you think? Has today’s top speed pace of life, with all its technology and “convenience” killed romance and love and making connections? Sometimes I wonder.

xxx

PS: If you fancy bringing a bit more love into your life, grab yourself one of these Heart Projectors from Urban Outfitters – they are on sale now, and I WANT ONE!!! 🙂

The Sound of Silence

I’ve been in Houston for a couple of days on a work trip – it was an easy, peaceful drive here on Wednesday (I FINALLY got around to listening to the first season of ‘Serial’, and OMG am I hooked! LOVE it!!), I had a great walk around and shop at the Galleria (which is right across the street from my hotel), my conference sessions have been tolerable…it’s been a pretty decent time. I decided to spend my Thursday evening exploring Houston’s Museum District, and am I ever glad I did! WOW!! I can’t wait to come back!! Have you been?

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I started at the Rothko Chapel, where something very strange happened. Are you familiar with this place? If not, here’s a brief description:

The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, founded by John and Dominique de Menil. The interior serves not only as a chapel, but also as a major work of modern art. On its walls are fourteen black but color hued paintings by Mark Rothko. The shape of the building, an octagon inscribed in a Greek cross, and the design of the chapel was largely influenced by the artist.

Susan J. Barnes states “The Rothko Chapel…became the world’s first broadly ecumenical center, a holy place open to all religions and belonging to none. It became a center for international cultural, religious, and philosophical exchanges, for colloquia and performances. And it became a place of private prayer for individuals of all faiths” 

On September 16, 2000, the Rothko Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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I entered the octagonal room and found a bunch of benches, and a few people in the room, some on the benches and one on the floor. It was absolutely quiet. I took a seat on one of the benches, picked a direction to face, and got comfortable – I wasn’t prepared for what happened to me next. I lowered my head and closed my eyes, and just sat. About 2579 thoughts roared through my head (as per usual), but then they slowed down…and nearly stopped. I’ve never experienced this before. I felt instantly uncomfortable, as if I could smell smoke somewhere nearby and needed to get out of the way of an impending inferno – but I didn’t move. I didn’t even open my eyes. I kept sitting there, thinking about all of the things that have been going on lately, and what I can do to change them. Then I started thinking about all of the good things that I have going on – and that was when the tears started. I still didn’t open my eyes or raise, my head – I just sat there, head down, moisture leaking out the sides of my eyes and dropping onto the floor. For whatever reason, this starkly simple, small room had somehow affected me in much grander ways…I’m still struggling to explain the experience.

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Once I pulled myself together, I sat up and opened my eyes – new people had joined us in the chapel, and I hadn’t even heard the doors open. I studied all of the paintings, moving a complete 360, to ensure that I had the chance to look at each one – and then I silently collected my belongings, and left. As I walked out of the chapel, I felt a calm and peace that I have rarely felt in my life…I think some of it is still lingering. What an absolutely magical place..and I’m hard-pressed to explain exactly where the magic came from.

From there, I moved on to the Museum of Fine Arts – what a gorgeous institution! It was open until 9:00pm on Thursday nights (woohoo!), and it was FREE! Double Woohoo! I LOVED this museum, and wish I’d had the time to explore the entire collection – but now I have an excuse to come back! I focused my efforts on the Impressionists (of course), and I found some true beauties! LOVE!!!! Here’s just a couple:

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I loved my trip to this museum so much, I can’t even tell you! It reminded me of visiting museums in Paris, London or New York (I don’t mean to be a name dropper, but it’s true!) – I can’t wait to plan a weekend here, and come back with the Wee Muppet! 🙂 Yaaa! 🙂

I’ve always had a rather negative opinion of Houston (too hot, too humid, too crowded, etc) – but I need to seriously revise my opinion. Yes, it is all of those things – but it is SO MUCH MORE….I can’t wait to come back and see what other treasures I can find! 🙂

xxx

 

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

The First Noel

The First Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

 

Happy Christmas Eve, my friends! I hope that this finds you surrounded by friends and family, the people you love most in this world, with a gorgeous feeling of peace around you. I’m planning to spend the next couple of days with my folks and my Wee One, doing nothing too terribly exciting – but enjoying every moment that I have with them. We always have appetizers on Christmas Eve, and this year we are bypassing the traditional Christmas dinner and having fondue instead – yaa! Fondue is one of my favorite meals – I am pumped! 🙂

I hope that you are well, my darlings – Merry Christmas. 🙂

xxx

 

PS: I made this dip for our meal this evening – it’s HEAVENLY, and so so so easy! Enjoy!!

 

Dill Pickle Dip
Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com. | Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
2 cups diced pickles
Directions
In a large bowl add cream cheese, red onion, pickle juice, garlic, Old Bay seasoning and pepper. Combine with a hand mixer. Add pickles and continue mixing until fully combined. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to three days before serving.

 

 

Start Me Up

Do you know what “gaslighting” is? I’m not terribly hip, so I somehow missed out on this phenomenon – my friend Soupsie mentioned it to me recently, she told me to Google it. Here’s the definition I found: a form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts and sanity, giving the abusive partner power and control.

The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 stage play called Gaslight, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights in their home (which were powered by gas), then denies that the lights change when the wife asks him about them. Once an abusive partner has used gaslighting to break down the victim’s ability to trust his or her own perceptions and beliefs, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship, because he or she no longer believes it’s possible to survive without the abuser.

Gaslighting usually happens gradually in a relationship — so gradually that the abusive partner’s actions seem harmless at first. Over time, a victim can be confused, anxious, isolated and depressed, and even lose sense of what is actually happening.

Crazy, right? But this has totally happened to me far too many times in my life – and I’m willing to bet that someone in your world has done it to you as well. This is what I really don’t get – people claim to care for you, yet think it is perfectly okay to mess with your mind like this. Ridiculous. We should all remember this:

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This is the absolute truth – I don’t care how angry you are at someone, you do not do anything to them that messes with their mind. Gaslighting? Messes with the mind – and only assholes act that way. Shame on them.

Now that I know what gaslighting is, I’m interested in talking about what to do if this shit situation happens to you – here’s some suggestions: if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t — trust your intuition; believe in yourself and your own capabilities — you’re awesome, and shame on the fool that tries to tell you otherwise; realize that somebody manipulating you means that they’re crappy, not you — their desire to control you is on them, and it’s gross; don’t worry about trying to be right in this situation, because you are, even if the other person will never acknowledge it — being right doesn’t matter, but going out and living your best life and  being happy is by far the best revenge.

 

Are you familiar with gaslighting? I hope that, if you are, it’s something that happened to you long ago, and isn’t part of your current situation. If this is something that is going on with you now – give me a call….we can get through this.

xxx

 

 

All These Things That I’ve Done

I had one of my very favorite students come to visit me yesterday afternoon – she’s still a student at my school, so I see her pretty much every day in passing, but this time she stopped by for a visit. She wanted to talk about how things were going with her, her stresses, her boyfriend drama, her family relationship issues…all of the regular stuff that gets teenagers down. While we were talking, she made a couple of self-deprecating comments about herself and her appearance – and I was all over her ass. I am the queen of comments like these, but I have made such a concerted effort to stop it lately – and I think she should, too. It does nobody any good to put themselves down like that, even if it is meant in good fun. I wish someone had told me this when I was 17 years old; honestly, I wish someone had told me something – anything – like this when I was 17 years old. All it takes is one person to show an interest, to express concern, to care  — and it can (and likely will) completely change the course of your life.

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We don’t start out our days being so insecure and sensitive (thank the Lord) – somewhere along the way, though, life gets in the way and changes the essential make up of our brains. Read this passage from a great book that I read last year:

“When we’re born, we have an instinctual understanding of some of the most important basics of life that includes, and goes way beyond, bending at our knees instead of our lower backs, to pick a beer can up off the floor. We’re born knowing how to trust our instincts, how to breathe deeply, how to eat only when we’re hungry, how to not care about what anyone thinks of our singing voices, dance moves, or hairdos, we know how to play, create, and love without holding back. Then, as we grow and learn from the people around us, we replace many of these primal understandings with negative false beliefs, fear, shame, and self-doubt. Then we wind up in emotional and physical pain. Then we either numb our pain with drugs, sex, booze, TV, Cheetos, etc. Or we settle for mediocrity. OR we rise to the occasion, remember how truly mighty we are, and set out to relearn everything we knew at the beginning all over again.” (From Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass”)

 

So true, eh? I remember being a kid that sang all the damn time, whether anyone wanted to hear it or not. Then, when I was about 13 or so, I completely quit singing out loud – unless there was A LOT of booze involved and a group karaoke situation, I NEVER sang. Never. However, as I have aged, my give-a-shit has loosened (I think it’s broken, actually), and I have begun singing again. A lot of the time. I even rapped an Eminem song last year. Imagine. I remember singing a song with my Wee One at my mom’s house one day, and my mother being absolutely amazed at the sound of my voice – not that it was particularly good or anything, but just at the actual sound of it…she had forgotten what I sounded like. Funny, eh? Now, why did I care so much what other people thought of my voice? I kind of think my pathetic dance moves fall into the same category – I don’t dance EVER anymore. I know that my rhythm is sketchy at best, and I am not the most coordinated girl in town, but…why should I care? I remember the last man who asked me to dance actually prayed to God to give me rhythm while we were still on the dance floor –  which made me not want to dance anymore…but that is completely stupid. Who cares if I have rhythm???? Who gives a shit????! I guess I have in the past, but I need to stop. Life is too damn short. Grr. I think I will just dance…it’ll be okay. 😉 (I hope you caught that Gaga reference)

xxx