Refocused

Sometimes, the blogosphere has to come second. While this space has served me well in allowing me to get the Instant Gratification fix so important to my sanity, the deadlines take precedence. I thought about blogging every day that I couldn't. And that's something, at least. This past week was one of the crazier ones. Three deadlines -- two for Latina and one for a new writing partnership I'll be announcing soon. I homeschool and the girl-child has an extra-curricular activity every. single. day. of. the week. Plus the cooking of the meals and the trying to make sure we have something clean to wear ... and the bed time routine and the MAMAIAMTHIRSTYINEEDTOGOPOTTYCANIHAVEMOREWATERPLEASEITHINKTHERE'SAMONSTERUNDERMYBED business usually means I'm sitting down to write around 10 p.m. or so. And then I write, email me work off to my editors, and if I'm still able to blink beyond the sleep and focus 0n the screen before me, that's when I open a new word doc I'm working on....

I'm writing a novel, y'all. I'm pretty sure it's the one thing I was supposed to be working on all those times I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be working on and now that I've figured it out, I'll sleep when I'm done.

Which brings me to the reason I cracked open the laptop today before the sun set. While my daughter plays quietly in her room and The Husband watches some TV instead of taking down the Christmas tree, I'm here to announce the end of Girl Body Pride. And because the click-throughs no longer matter, I'll share the reasons behind the why in this space that isn't going anywhere.

I called it The Final Bow.

 

 

 

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This is a hard post to write. It’s surprising how hard it is to find the words, actually, considering that after much soul-searching and late night text message marathons with the friends I’ve made through writing. But then again, I guess knowing what needs to be done  doesn’t make the doing any easier, even with the absolute certainty that I’ve made the right decision.

It’s time to bow down to the many incredible and established voices in the realm of body and self-image discussions.  It’s time to let Girl Body Pride fade into internet oblivion.  While I’ve truly the experience and am grateful to have connected with some of most talented writers I know, I think this is the right thing to do. My role as Latina Magazine’s advice columnist, alongside homeschooling my daughter, my personal blog, and the occasional need to sleep, all have limited the time I am able to responsibly bitching about which celeb mom’s six-week post-partum bikini body is giving us all a complex on this week’s glossy magazine cover. Deadlines that help pay the bills always take priority, as does time with my little girl and husband. Clearly, something had to give. The answer became clear when I realized I was no longer capable of giving 100 percent of my efforts to making this site all I had believed it could be.

If I see you at any conferences this year, you’ll probably receive a business card that lists Girl Body Pride as part of my identity. And that’s perfectly fine with me because I think it always will be. I’m grateful for the words shared on the site by so many wonderfully talented writers and bloggers, thankful for the friends made and connections established, and so very appreciative to you, our readers, for cheering us on along the way.

You’re still beautiful, just the way you are. And you always will be.

 

And that's that.

Waffles for Breakfast

It’s impossible to always put yourself first…

but poisonous to always put yourself last.

Those words are by my friend, Jenni Chiu. I found them tonight and I'm sharing them with you now, partly because they need to be shared.

Mostly because I needed the reminder myself.

I'm in a weird place right now. I'm not even sure of the words to use to describe it, which doesn't happen very often. All I know is I keep hoping that tomorrow the veil I can't shake will have lifted. I want to see the sun again and feel it on my face.

I want to stop being the reason The Husband worries.

I want to stop being tired all the time and remember what it feels like to revel in my once-regular workout routine because I know it makes me feel good.

What I don't want is for Christmas to be a giant farce wrapped in pretty paper, because right now, that's what it's turning out to be. The Christmas cards went out. The gifts are under the tree. Santa's ready. I know Christmas morning will be magical for her. Her magic is my own.  But I want my own groove back.

When I wake up to find my daughter quietly playing in her room, her breakfast dishes in the sink, and the opened cereal box on the kitchen counter because she knows Mama needed sleep, I vow to sleep like normal people do and wake (like normal people do) with (or even before) my child. I'll start tomorrow. Then I'll start the next day. And then it's 3:30 a.m. and I've accomplished nothing. I climb into bed, drawing myself close to the warmth of my husband's body, and fall asleep before I can worry about everything I still have left to do.

She asked for waffles the other day. I made them for lunch. But I know it's not the same.

I'm going to be 36 soon. The new year is almost upon us. There's a promise in every tomorrow. I know all of these things. I just don't feel them right now. Maybe it's something in the water. Or maybe I'm seeing so many friends writing about how they are pulling themselves through this holiday season just barely because so many of my friends are writers now and this is just how we process. I'm not sure. What I do know is I see myself in their words. Maybe you see yourself in mine.

We're mothers. We're women. We're tired but don't want to be.

We're doing what needs to be done for others. We're wishing we didn't feel guilty for even considering that we must also do what we want for ourselves.

We push ourselves relentlessly because we've learned to balance the weight of the world on our shoulders and don't know how to deal with the sense of lightness that comes when anyone else tries to lift it because that is what we would do for those that we love. The problem is that we don't know how to handle taking the time we need for ourselves to just breathe and do for ourselves before we find ourselves running on empty.

Open for Business

 

I'm nothing if not chronically behind myself. But if I'm going with the Glass Half Full line of thinking, then I'm also fabulously consistent.

I started Girl Body Pride over a year ago with Big Dreams and Big Intentions. Slowly, things are falling into place. And I keep at it.

One of my goals has been to start an Etsy shop with quotable prints and canvases. Because I like the idea of Gifts that Keep On Giving, I decided to start out with digital files. I'm imagining homemade greeting cards, post cards, and framed prints for GBP readers to surprise their friends with under the Christmas tree.

Maybe I'm just being consistent again, but I can finally cross that To Do off of my incredibly convoluted list. I've got more to list and more dreams to turn into realities. For now, though, I'm going to take my own advice for once and just tell myself that right now, this is enough.

 

Butterflies for Everyone!

If you're new to the blog, I'd like to welcome you with a little bit of awesome. As a pre-holiday thank you to my readers (and a little reminder to ourselves to be thankful for the bodies that carry us through our days) I've decided to make the Girl Body Pride Strong Like Butterfly anthology free on Smashwords through Sunday.

The anthology contains the work of many Girl Body Pride writers like Shoshana Rachel, Elan Morgan, and Jessie Sanfilippo, along with novelists Therese Walsh and Mercedes Yardley. Each story shared speaks to women struggling with body image issues. And each story is so beautifully told.

I'd like to invite you to take this opportunity to get your free copy of Strong Like Butterfly and, of course, to pass the information on to your friends. And please, know that I look forward to your thoughts after reading the book. It was an honor editing this collection. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I still do.

The Stupid Sister

Can I call your sister stupid? No? Does that bother you? I'm not sure why, seeing as how you don't even like your her. You tell anyone who will listen and rarely go home for holidays. What? What was that? Oh, so you think your sister is stupid? So what's the problem? Why is it that, even if you agree wholeheartedly with my sentiments, that it seems somehow inappropriate for anyone other than yourself to comment on the obvious lack of intellect with which your loved ones were gifted?

You're mumbling. I didn't quite catch that? Oh, you don't know why? That's just the way it is? You don't take too kindly to others doing the name calling? She's your family, not mine? I can think it but I'd better not say it?

Okay then. I'll play nice. But turnabout is fair play, my friend. I'll respect your right and your family and keep my jokes to myself if you can stop being an idiot about a teensy weensy little issue I happen to be dealing with, myself. I have to admit that I'm even embarrassed to be bringing it up, but I guess it's better to get it all out in the open, right?

I'm not trying to be overly sensitive. But you know about the bulimia and the body image issues and the whole body image cheer-leading train I've jumped on, right? I'm not here just to blow sunshine up other people's asses, my friend. I'm here to help me by helping others because that, in that Circle of Life Kind of Way, helps me continue to help because that's usually how this shit works; Yin & Yang and all that jazz.

So when I see careless social media updates making light of eating disorders, even if they aren't meant to hurt my feelings because you'd never dream of doing that, I get a bit pissy. And then I get pissy that your words got under my skin because if I'd never stuck my fingers down my throat to let the feelings I couldn't deal with just fucking escape already, I'd probably be laughing with you and everyone else who doesn't get it. I'm jealous that you don't understand and can laugh.

I'm mad that I do and I can't.

I'm not 'bulimic'. I'm a 'conscientious recycler of edible organic material.' -- says Nobody In Particular.

I had to read that twice to make sure I understood it. Then I got mad. And even madder still when I realized I wanted to ask you if you ever actually had been bulimic because if you are or were or were planning on starting tonight, then, in a darkly comedic and self-deprecating kind of way, your joke would be funny. It would be...

...acceptable.

Can you maybe follow up with a disclaimer? No...actually it's probably better that you don't. I'm not sure how either answer would make me feel. If you made the joke because Bulimia is your stupid sister, I will smile and laugh with you.

Secret Hand Shake In The Club.

If Bulimia isn't even a distant cousin, I'm happy for you for not ever having dealt with the emotional hell that comes with internalizing everything to the point of food and self becoming the enemy. But I'm also pissed because that means you called my stupid sister stupid.

Even if she is.

 

Ariel Gore on Girl Body Pride

 

Look closely. What do you see?

I see a woman. A smile that makes me want to know what was just said.

I see a name. I see stars. I see Ariel Gore on Girl Body Pride.

For those of you who don't know, Ariel is my writer crush. She has been since I read How to Become a Famous Famous Writer Before You're Dead: You're Words in Print and Your Name in Lights. Alongside Stephen King's On Writing, I consider to be the two best literary works on the art of writing and making something of it. Then I read her memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, and I was in love.

Heard of the Hip Mama zine? That's Ariel.

Read Bluebird? Ariel again.

And now her words are on Girl Body Pride. I seriously think this is about as awesome as the fact that I can say Jenny Lawson pet my hair a women's bathroom once. I know, right?

I won't lie...this is one pf those moments where I have to pinch myself to find out if I'm awake...

Turns out I am and pinching myself hurts like a bitch.

Stop laughing.

Go read it.

And please, for the love of all things Holy, leave many comments and share the absolute shit out of this one. Ariel Gore is in the house.

Hell, Ariel Gore is in MY house.

Let's make sure she wants to come back for the next shindig, shall we?

The Love Your Body Day After Party

 

Today was National Love Your Body Day. Well, technically it still is at 11:34 p.m., but I'm obviously a little late to the shin-dig. And that's okay, too. I've always loved me a good after-party. People are freer with their words and so hilariously opinionated with the hours of open bar contributing happily to the She Said What censor-freedom you just don't see while all of the women are still pretending their 6-inch stilettos aren't fucking killing them.

You know the real fun is about to begin when the heels get traded for the flip flops and the ballet flats, anyway.

A few highlights from today:

August McLaughlin of Girl Boner- land (You can lie but I won't believe you if you tell me that just isn't fun to say), profiled me in a feature on the National Eating Disorder Association website in recognition of Love Your Body Day for #BodyConfidenceWeek. August did a beautiful job bringing light to such an important topic and I thank her for the chance to share my story.

A little snippet of that interview for you -- Tips from me to you on loving your body:

Drop the word DIET unless you are referring to what your hamster is allowed to eat. Pledge to rephrase all negative self-talk (internally and verbally) to positive statements. For example, “That has too many calories” becomes “I choose food to nurture my body.”

Remember that our kids see and hear everything we say and do. Even if you don't love your body, put on your big girl panties and pretend to love it anyway. Your motivation is your child and the knowledge that your actions are the foundation from which they will learn how to see their own reflections one day.

Write a sentence about something you hate about your body. Turn it around by writing two on why you are more than that and deserve to love your body just the way it is.

Put on some red lipstick, or your favorite shoes. Hell, grab a tiara and wear the damned thing all day! The point is, whatever makes you feel good about yourself, do it.

Smile at your reflection.

-- from Love Your Body Day 2013 on NEDA by August McLaughlin

 

Remember...Hamster...Diet...You...Amazing.

See? Day's looking better already. Now do me a favor and brighten someone else's by sharing the article. The first step in recovery is often realizing that we are not alone.

 

AspiringMama on ADHD Awareness Month

 

It's ADHD Awareness Month.

Seeing as how I was diagnosed just last year (which explained the first 34 years of my life) I can't ignore an opportunity to well, make you more aware about ADHD. Because that's how this stuff works.

At the age of 16, I was misdiagnosed as clinically depressed and put on Prozac. I didn't know to question the diagnosis, or that the constant anxiety and racing thoughts that prompted me to keep asking for higher doses of my medication (that, quite obviously, didn't actually do anything for me) meant something was off. What has always stuck with me, however, is what the therapist said when she sent me off to the psychiatrist for further evaluation: "You are the most highly functioning clinically depressed person I have ever worked with."

Turns out I didn't fit the label because the label didn't fit me. ADHD is a complex brain-based pshyciatric disorder that has so many nuances that it's easilyu confused with other conditions and just as easily dismissed by those who don't understand it. I joke a lot about the squirrel and shiny things because there is truth in how scattered I am, and there's humor in that truth which is just as important to me to hold on to as it is to set the record straight on ADHD and the adults dealing with it.

We're forgetful

Well, DUH. Yes, we're forgetful because we have ADHD. It's all in the name, folks: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Becoming easily distracted, failing to follow through on projects, forgetting to pay bills on time, or even having difficulty keeping track of conversations are all signs of ADHD. None of these mean we are lazy or stupid or self-centered or even selfish and irresponsible. Just as a person suffering from depression can't just flip a switch and be happy, ADHD means we can't just suddenly decide to get our shit together just because we want to (and trust me, we do want to. In fact, we usually think we're doing a fantastic job of getting our shit together until a spouse or a friend or the credit card company reminds us with a late payment call or a frantic YOU BURNED THE EGGS YOU WERE TRYING TO HARD BOIL AGAIN that we are cute when we think we did something right.)

Right now I'm hoping a very pretty watch The Husband bought be recently magically shows up in my house because the last memory involves me taking care of housework or yardwork and thinking how I shouldn't be wearing the watch. So I took it off and put it somewhere with the intention of putting it away when I finished my work. For all I know, it's buried under a pile of leaves in the front yard. Not a good thing, y'all.

That being said? It's typically our short-term memory that get us in trouble with things like, you know, life. I might not know where I set my keys five minutes ago but I can name every teacher I had in order by grade from kindergarten to high school and tell you the design on the T-shirt I was wearing when my mother stood me before my father and asked him if he thought his 8-year-old needed a bra.

For the record, it was a pink tee with a glitter-lined, red, white, and blue arrow next to the words THIS END UP.

Exactly.

We are ONLY forgetful

Wrong.

ADHD is often an umbrella under which many other traits and issues tend to fall. Issues like poor self-image, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, executive function issues, distress tolerance, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and even bulimia (as cited in the book Fast Minds: How to Thirve if You Have ADHD or Think You Might) are often associated with ADHD. These and other diagnoses can be co-morbid with a person's ADHD or be simply be manifestations of an individual's ADHD. For me, that means that my aniety nd depression are controlled when my ADHD medication is at the right level. It's different in every case, so don't think it's a One Size Fits All Label.

It's not.

We also tend to hyper-focus during any activity that we may truly enjoy. For me that means I kick ass on deadlines (which, interestingly, is a common ADHD trait -- we tend to shine when our asses are put to the fire) and tend to get engrossed in things like crafting projects. Hell, I even wrote an entire manuscript and revised it three times to convince my agent I was made of awesome.

The flip-side is that hyper-focusing tends to leave other people in our lives feeling a tad bit neglected possibly, maybe. I won't lie... I've been known to put Sex with The Husband on my To Do list because that's how I roll, you guys. It works, by the way.

You're welcome.

We're disorganized

Obviously. Or we wouldn't be losing track of the bills we meant to pay when they showed up in the mail an hour ago. My workspace is a cluttered mess I keep meaning to make sense of until I get distracted by something else I need to do right this hot minute.

But? Disorganized doesn't mean hopeless. We tend to thrive in high-stress situations and usually are pretty good at multi-tasking. That's why I rocked busy nights while working as a waitress and thrived on the deadline rush while filing stories in the newsroom for cranky editors. ADHD is our super power.

I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on this blog. But I am an adult with ADHD who tend to hyper-focus while researching things like ADHD and hyper-focusing so I'm fairly certain I sounded slightly intelligent in this post. Either way, you can't sue me because I told you I'm not a professional. You can, however, take solace in knowing you aren't the only one if you're the one with ADHD or take a moment to better understand the people you love.

I promise you we remember that kind of thing.

 

Pretty as a Princess

 

A random stranger wished my daughter luck today. What she was really saying as she made eye contact with my five-year-old instead of meeting my eyes was that she was sorry my daughter had the misfortune to be born to me instead of someone else.

Maybe a nice lady with a sense of humor who understood the nuances of a little girl’s imagination and forgave little indiscretions like purposefully ignoring strangers compliments on her beautiful curls or comments about whatever adorable princess outfit she has decided to wear out of the house on that particular day. But good luck is apparently needed and will be offered, no qualms about the judgement on my mothering that is handed along with it, because she was born to me and had the gall to be rude and ignore my fourth reminder that day that if she’s going to wear costumes in public, little old ladies are going to gush because that’s just the way things go.

What a pretty princess!

I’m NOT a princess. (Hands on hips.) I’m just pretending.

Oh. You are TOO a princess and with such beautiful curls.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

She is bored with the concept of having to explain to adults who should know better that she isn’t really royalty from an animated movie. She isn’t really a superhero ballerina in a tutu with a cape and cowboy boots. She’s just is who she is and that happens to be a little girl who really doesn’t give a flying fuck if you like her outfit or not because she chose to wear what she has on today because it makes her happy and that happy is being drained every time she has to explain to you peasants that she’s not really a princess but a five-year-old with an imagination and a sense of self so strong I applaud it just as much as I cry thinking about the hell I’m in for when she becomes a teenager.

So I take a deep breath to remind myself that I want to not beat this spirit out of her. To remind myself that I need to help focus her energies to recognize that there comes responsibility with stepping out into the public eye as a princess. Or a superhero. Or a superhero princess in a cape with a crown and mismatched socks and a wand to freeze the bad guys. Because a sense of self that strong, one in which the opinion of others has no bearing on what I decide to wear or how I act in certain situations or how I feel, is something I am still working daily to attain.

I’m jealous of her confidence because it’s the confidence that allows her to not care what you think now that makes me believe will help her avoid the path I took and the daily battle I fight every time I look in the mirror when she’s older. And, as her mother, I’m very aware that I can celebrate her confidence only if I’m making sure that respect for herself, her elders, and sweet strangers giving compliments are part of the package. Without respect and kindness, confidence is easily confused as just plain rude.

It’s my job to make sure she is as strong and self-assured as she is polite and understanding that a simple thank you will suffice. We’ve have this conversation countless times. But my child is bull-headed. While she may understand that she may stand out in public for her princess attire and cowboy boots, she’s also not sure why anyone else cares what she is wearing and feels the need to start up a conversation about it. This is when I explain that the lady at Walgreens doesn’t know that every single person she encountered today has tried having the exact same conversation with her and that even if she is bored with it, she is the one who made the choice to not blend in and must therefore learn to be patient and polite.

She rolls her eyes. I grit my teeth, take a deep breath, and explain to a five-year-old who is perfectly aware the she is being rude (again) that she is being rude (again).

Baby, remember what we talked about with Daddy? That when you wear your fun outfits, nice strangers are going to want to tell you how cute you look as a princess?

Yes.(She mumbles because it’s the fourth time today she’s heard this.)

And remember how we said if you are going to argue with every stranger that calls you a princess by telling them that are you not a princess when you are dressed like one that it’s just back to the regular clothes in your closet until you can learn to just smile and nod because arguing with nice old ladies is rude, baby?

Yes. (She mumbles again because she doesn’t really want to be bothered with having to apologize to this woman who is now openly staring at me and my defiant little girl who surpassed brat and became bitch long before I was ready for it. That’s my fault. The not being ready, I mean. There are mirrors. I own a few.)

I’ve been told often how I cloned myself when I gave birth. I use to tell people cloning probably would have been less painful, but then I forget that labor was temporary. This woman judging me for reprimanding my free-spirited child for countless missteps and purposeful rudeness and the failure to respect her elders by simply nodding and smiling and acknowledging their kindnesses…this is not. I somehow know, standing there at the Walgreens pharmacy that this woman is going to go home and tell her husband or her kids or her girlfriend and maybe all of her Facebook friends about this bitch at the store who told her five-year-old she couldn’t dress like a princess in public until she learned to mind her manners when gushed over by grandmothers and grandfathers alike.

I imagine her saying things like:

That poor kid hasn’t got a chance. She’s five. FIVE. How many five-year-olds actually say thank you for stupid shit like this. And in public, this mom makes her kid apologize to me for telling me she isn’t really a princess. Can you believe that? I mean, seriously. Kid needs all the luck she can get…

But I still haven’t gotten my prescription and that’s because the store is out of my Adderall for my severe ADHD but here’s the bottle for the Xanax to take the edge off of that anxiety. No one knows or cares — nor should they care –  that I have gone three days without my full dose of Adderall to slow my brain and calm my nerves and help me breathe and think and be. And now, I have to wait until I get back into the truck with the princess who isn’t really a princess and drive an hour back into town to the closest store that can fill my prescription so I can take a pill and wait for it to work its way into my bloodstream. First, though, I tell the woman staring at me with contempt for having the nerve to expect my daughter to have manners when she’s going out of the way to draw attention to herself, thank you very much, that my daughter is five because that’s what I was just asked.

How old is she.

And the question isn’t really a question but more of a challenge and enunciated just so to let me know that she is judging me and has no problem making it known. It’s not a question but a challenge to not bully my kid because she’s five and for fuck’s sake woman, have a heart because she’s five.

Can you please apologize to the nice lady for not saying thank you when she complimented your dress?

But m-o-o-o-o-o-m. I’m not really a prince…

Say it one more time and you can donate all of your princess outfits to little girls who aren’t lucky enough to have a trunkful of dress up clothes and would love to be called a princess just once by a kind stranger. One. More. Time.

Ok. I’m sorry, mama.

Not to me, baby. Please apologize to the lady. And please say thank you, like you should have in the first place.

Ok, mama.

She looks a the woman who is looking back at her with pity. She apologizes for her rudeness and thanks the woman for the originally ignored compliment that started this whole mess, but only because she knows she has crossed the line in the sand.

I thank my child for listening and kiss her on the head and tell her that I love her and maybe when we get home we can watch a movie together or what book did she want me to read to her tonight because all is forgiven because she is five but I’ll be damned if she’s wearing a fucking costume out the house again until she learns to smile and nod because Punky Brewster is sassy and sweet and I know this and so does everyone else who knows my child which means thanks must be given for every compliment received by those who do not.

I am old-school Mexican-American in many way. Respect your elders. Please and thank you and you are welcome and Mande instead of Que when asked a question we need repeated because mande is the polite way to say what and que is just construed as rude by the adult asking the original question. I am a coconut in many others. Brown on the outside and white on the inside. I am English dominant. I have forgotten much of the Spanish that once was my primary language. My daughter knows more Chinese than Spanish because Kai Lan is less annoying than Dora. And while I might suck at teaching her the language I once thought in, I’m not raising a little girl who doesn’t know how what manners are.

Good luck, little one.

That’s the woman’s response to my daughter as their eyes meet and I am purposefully left out of the exchange because I am the one being apologized for by a stranger to the child I bore. Because I am the one being judged for the back story she will never know.

My daughter says nothing and squeezes my hand and I have the sense that she understands that something beyond her has just happened but she’s not going to ask and I’m not going to explain. Not yet.

We leave the store, judgement boring holes into my back.

 

** This piece was originally published in October of 2012 and was also posted on Girl Body Pride.

 

On Second Chances & Our Daughters

I wasn't going to write tonight. There's frankly too much going on right now to really justify the time I am using right now that could be spent doing needed things. Like sleep.

And yet, here I am.

I'm here because of a tweet that was written because of a blog post that was written because a well-meaning mother decided to tell teenaged girls to stop acting like teenaged girls because their sexy selfies on instagram are sending the wrong message to all the good teenaged boys in the world.

Like others who have responded, I immediately thought of myself when I was younger and my daughter and the reality of growing up on social media and iPhones. I admit to shaking my head and wondering what the hell they are thinking when seeing selfie-updates posted online with pouty lips and sexy poses. Sometime I remember the only difference between then and now is that then didn't include instagram. So I refocus on doing (what I believe is) right by my daughter.

It's my job to raise her, not society's job to judge her. It's my job to teach her right from wrong and left from right and that she is so much more than a pretty face. I want her to be proud of herself, feel no shame in talking about things like anxiety and mama's ADHD and the therapist that we share. And I sure as hell am working my ass off to try (oh please, God) to provide her with a foundation strong enough to weather the demons that still chase after me like body image and my eating disordered past. As her mother, it's my responsibility to give her the tools, the knowledge that society will always have an opinion, and (hopefully) the sense of self to not give a damn. From there, it's her job to make mistakes, learn from them, and make some more until she's found her path.

It's my job to raise my daughter. It's not my job to judge yours.

I have no doubt my daughter will grow into an incredible older version of the wonder that she is now. But looking at the innocence in her little 6-year-old face is sometimes heart-breaking because I know that one day she will stop believing in the tooth fairy and asking to snuggle between me and her daddy and she will start pissing us off by pushing the boundaries. It's my job to try and make it through the storm she will create as she defines herself on her own terms and love her no matter how many times she disappoints herself...and maybe even me.

She's a lot like me, this little girl. And I wonder how many times I will see myself reflected in her actions as each day passes. The difference, though, is that while I was a teen, my mistakes were only recorded in my journals and written in overly squiggly cursive with i's dotted in hearts. Today's girls have a whole world waiting to serve as judge and jury for every misstep they share on Facebook or twitter or instagram or tumblr. I wish we'd stop judging. I wish we'd stop telling our daughters that it's their responsibility to get it right the first time and that it's their fault for anything relating to sex that may run through a young boy's mind. I wish that we'd just stop with the You Should's and You Shouldn'ts and remember that we didn't stop falling and picking ourselves back up just because we learned to walk.

I wish that I am successful in conveying the importance of never passing judgement on a friend just for making a choice she may not agree with.

I don't want to think about what I'd find searching my name online if the social media had existed when I was 15 or 18 or even 20. But even without the permanent record, I still held my breath waiting to hear my parents tell me that they still loved me. I'm not sure how many second chances they gave me. All I know is that when I fell they were still there to watch me brush myself off as I picked myself back up, reassessed, and gave it another go. One time in college I swallowed a bottle of pills because I just wanted to sleep and panicked when I realized sleeping and dying were to very different things. The friend who took me to the hospital in the middle of the night was a second chance. The friends who forced me into therapy were a third and so on and so forth. I am the product of all of my fuck-ups and all of my successes and I wonder how many of you recognize that about yourselves. We are who we are right now because yesterday happened.

When she's older and looking back like I am now, I don't know how many regrets her yesterday's will hold. I probably won't know half of the regrets that will have been posted online or maybe even all of the little things she is proud of. I might not even know how many second chances she counts as part of the foundation that -- even if a bit cracked here and there -- is still strong enough to hold another tomorrow.

The Weekly Wrap #8

Things that happened this week:

  • We went into town. And yes, I mean that in the literal sense.
  • We saw our neighbor. This is not a statement you take at face value in northern Maine, seeing as how we live on five acres and he's got more like 70.
  • The neighbor told us about the bait for the black bear who'd decided he likes the area as much as we do.
  • The neighbor suggested we maybe not go picking apple tree picking until maybe he invites us over for bear burgers.
  • We went back into town to buy apples at the grocery store.

And now for the wrap. This week’s Weekly Wrap is sponsored by my newest addiction, WeMontage. All I can say is Smartphone pics, Your Wall, and Brilliant (and Easily Removable) Wallpaper. Thank you! Make sure to click on over and check it all out for yourself. Like what you see? Use discount code ASPIRING for $50 off your first order.

 

 

 

 

Let’s get this week Wrapped Up, shall we?

On Latina

This week’s #Dimelo column: Miley Cyrus' VMA Perfomance Shocked You? Really?

Yes, of course I have an opinion.

Dying to ask me a question of your own? I give really good solicited advice! Email me! 

***

On Girl Body Pride

The Fat Rash by Shell Feijo
Oh Miley, What Are We Going to Do With You? by Margaret Elysia Garcia
Frida's Wardrobe: A Reminder by Margaret Elysia Garcia

***

Pin this, bitches.

This week’s theme: A favorite quote from one of my favorite authors.
Pinned to Girl Body Pride

And finally: Things I Created That Don't Suck (Maybe)

Pretty snazzy, eh? I thought so, too. That's why I created a canvas print over in the Girl Body Pride Zazzle shop. Also pretty snazzy? WeMontage is now offering gift cards. And did I mention the discount code? That's right...

Aspiring.

I love that word.

You’re welcome, Internet.

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in sponsoring the next Wrap-Up or nominating a Post Written By Someone Other Than Yourself for a mention and a link? Shoot me an email for details. I promise to come up for air while pinning and zulily-ing like a mad woman to take a look.

 

 

30scondmom: Self-worth & Scrubbing Stoves

My house is spotless.

This is directly related to the fact that The Husband, Eliana, and I leave before I usually drag my ass out of bed in the morning for New York for my Secret Thing and my first visit to Latina Magazine offices since I started writing my Dimelo advice column.

I should be sleeping. I swept, scrubbed, and organized instead. Minus the lack of sleep, The Husband is all for high-anxiety freakfests triggered by things like, say, going to New York for a Secret Thing and vising the Latina offices for the first time since I started writing that column. Mainly because the house gets some much needed TLC and because we both know I'm not scrubbing a damned thing until the next time something big is going on. Or the Adderall wears off.

Since I'm waiting for the laundry to finish so I can fold it before climbing into bed, I figured I'd use the time I have to officially invite you to the 30Secondmom Twitter Party I'm leading on Wednesday night, 9 p.m. EST.

Being confident and believing in your self-worth isn't about weight, beauty, or that kickass corner office with the receptionist. It's about knowing yourself and loving who you are during the good, the bad, and the nights when bleaching garbage cans at 1 a.m. seems like the right thing to do.

RSVP here to be eligible for prizes. And don't forget to BYOB.

 

Girl Body Pride's Next Chapter

I'm trying to think up a witty intro for this post. It's kind of important, seeing as I'm announcing my new Managing Editor and Social Media Coordinator's for Girl Body Pride, but I'm drawing a blank. So I decided to go the straight-forward route. See? Already done.

Girl Body Pride just celebrated it's first year and it's my baby. The site was born from my desire to help by daughter grow strong and self-assured despite my own eating disordered background and has grown into so much more. Many talented writers have shared their own journeys to self-acceptance and positive self-worth with essays on topics ranging from their sexuality to manifestos to overcoming their inner critic and smiling for the camera. The hours it takes to read through submissions and find images and schedule the editorial calendar have all been worth it because the words shared with those reading need to be shared.

My work is important, I've been told. Lives have been changed, I've been told. I can't let it stop because a difference is being made, friends and writers I respect have said.

And I'll admit that I was on the brink of throwing in the towel. Not because I don't believe that GBP is no longer relevant (because body image and learning that we deserve to love ourselves as we are will always be relevant), but because I'm spread too thin.

My work for Latina Magazine comes first, as it should, with deadlines and editors and readers to answer to. That means that personal blogging, both here and the editorial responsibilities that come with running a website like Girl Body Pride, become what I do instead of sleeping. Considering Life and Homeschool and Other Craziness, I needed to either just let something go or find a Plan B.

I went with Plan B.

And I couldn't be happier to announce Margaret Elysia Garcia as Girl Body Pride's new Managing Editor and Beth Bartlett as the site's new Social Media Coordinator.

Margaret is a literary force to be reckoned with. She's a teacher, a writer of poetry and fiction, and hosts two radio shows. She also is an award wining writer. Her work can be seen in Best Fiction, Underground Voices, Penduline Press, Solstice Magazine, and more. Margaret somehow manages to maintain a personal blog at Tales of a Sierra Madre.

I know. I have no idea how she does it, either.

Beth Bartlett is a freelance writer and humorist. Her work has appeared in such publications as Writer’s Digest, mental_floss, Country Extra, Meetings South and American Profile, and she’s a contributing writer at the humor site An Army of Ermas. She indulges her pseudo-psychic snarky side at Wisecrack Zodiac, and shows her nerdy colors at Pure Geek and Geek Girl Universe.

I'm honored (and so very excited) to announce both Margaret and Beth's new roles with Girl Body Pride and can't wait to see what happens next.

Thank you both, ladies. This totally means you're on my Christmas list now.

The Weekly Wrap: #7

The inlaws are power-washing the deck. The Husband just left for work at 3:30 p.m. And The Child is currently running around in a too-big dress layered with pajama pants and knee high socks poking out from the tops of her rain boots. Me? I'm doing my damnedest to get my Must Do list and work responsibilities taken care of so I can have some time free tomorrow to do some sight-seeing. That's always pretty spectacular up here in northern Maine. We've already driven out to see The Million Dollar View (which, by the way, is justified in sounding a bit stuck on itself) and when we arrived at the second lookout area on the route, Eliana dubbed it the Two Million Dollar View because that's just how things work. We've also seen a lot of rain. I like to refer to it as Summer Snow.

Makes it suck less.

This week's Weekly Wrap is sponsored by my newest addiction, WeMontage. All I can say is Smartphone pics, Your Wall, and Brilliant (and Easily Removable) Wallpaper. Thank you!

 

 

Let’s get this week Wrapped Up, shall we?

On Latina

This week’s #Dimelo column:On Being Patriotic...With a Tan. A 12-year-old Mexican-American boy sang the national anthem and pissed off twitter before Marc Anthony had his patriotic credentials questioned. Yes, of course I have an opinion.

Dying to ask me a question of your own? I give really good solicited advice! Email me! 

***

On Girl Body Pride

Have you checked out the GBP Showcase yet? Cuz you should.

Leanne Brieholz talks about The Skin She's In and Yesterday’s Scars.

I tell you why it's easier for my to Hide in Plain Sight

Lissa Rankin gives it to you straight in Body After Baby? Bullshit!

***

Pin this, bitches.

This week’s theme: I may have a Zulily addiction.
While at BlogHer, I got to talk with some of the magical people from Zulily who seemed to like me, at the very least, for the money I keep throwing at them. So when they said I could start a Pinterest board dedicated to my child and her rockstar style for a chance at a Zulily shopping spree, you know I'm not turning that down. Plus? Mermaid with a pet shark?
Exactly.

And finally, some Awesome by Other People

I've got the Biggest... on Only Mama
A Mother's Back to School Prayer by Robin O'Bryant
I Do Not Want My Daughter to be Nice by Catherine Newman

Thank you to the good people over at WeMontage for sponsoring this week’s Weekly Wrap.

You’re welcome, Internet.

***

 

 

 

Interested in sponsoring the next Wrap-Up or nominating a Post Written By Someone Other Than Yourself for a mention and a link? Shoot me an email for details. I promise to come up for air while pinning and zulily-ing like a mad woman to take a look.

 

The Weekly Wrap: #6

Honey! We're Home! I'm now realizing how much of a shock to the system it is after returning from Chicago to LIFE IN GENERAL in Northern Maine. Don't get me wrong. I love where I live. I just didn't realize that it was so boring until I got back from BlogHer. Or that I forgot to buy anything for The Husband for his 40th birthday yesterday because my brain was too busy wrapping itself around traveling to a major conference with my kid.

He picked us up from the airport hotel two hours from where we live the day before yesterday, which was right around the time I realized that I suck at wife-dom and Making Big Deals out of Major Freaking Birthdays because the day before yesterday was the day before his birthday.

I.

Know.

Eliana saved the day with elaborate plans for a family surprise party, complete with homemade pizza, cupcakes, and an Angry Birds Darth Vadar toy "For Daddy" (heavy emphasis on the air quotes because we all know where this is going). But while we wait for Darth to end up in her toy box, let me say thank you to 30SecondMom for sponsoring this week's wrap up!

 

 

Let’s get this week Wrapped Up, shall we?

On Latina

This week's #Dimelo column: My Six-Year-Old has a blog. Think I'm crazy? That's cool. Just do me a favor and call me insane on the post on Latina.com. That kind of thing makes me look good to my editors.

Dying to ask me a question of your own? Email me! 

***

On Girl Body Pride

Have you checked out the GBP Showcase yet? Cuz you should.

H.C. Palmquist takes back the power in Yesterday's Scars.

Michaella O'Connor on guilt in A Weigh in on Shame.

Jessi Sanfillippo and The Tilt Shifts Reality

 

***

Pin this, bitches.

This week’s theme is Wonder Woman.
This is probably my most popular pin right now, and well-deserved, too. I found this PDF file on Etsy when I was frantically trying to come up with a last minute Wonder Woman party for Eliana in June and it's the best money I ever spent. Why? Because we're doing Wonder Woman next year, too. At least until she changes her mind three days before the party.

And finally, some Awesome by Other People

Should We Teach Our Girls to Fight Back by Galit Breen
Kelly Wickham made Queen Latifah Cry in That Time I Met Queen Latifah
Jenny Chiu in BlogHer13- I Can't Quit You

Thank you to the wonderful team at 30Secondmom for sponsoring this week’s Weekly Wrap.

 

You’re welcome, Internet.

***

 

 

 

Interested in sponsoring the next Wrap-Up or nominating a Post Written By Someone Other Than Yourself for a mention and a link? Shoot me an email for details. I promise to come up for air while pinning and zulily-ing like a mad woman to take a look.

 

The Weekly Wrap: #5

  I've got a carry-on suitcase packed with what I need for me AND my kid ready and waiting for BlogHer sitting alongside an empty full-sized suitcase because it only took two conferences to figure out that if I show up with too much crap, I've seriously over-thought my wardrobe.

We leave for the airport (a two-hour drive!) on Wednesday because out flight is early enough to make me think sleep is probably a stupid idea. A quick layover in Detroit and then we're off to Chicago for all the crazy fun to be had.We've even got our business cards ready to go and I'm not sure who is more excited- me or Eliana. Me because my Moo cards kick major ass. Her because she's  six and hello- BUSINESS CARDS WITH HER NAME ON THEM!

It's adorable how many times she's asked me today to see if she got any more comments on her latest post. And how she totally enunciates the H when she tells people she's going to BlogHer. Seriously. You have no idea.

Thank you to Latina Creative for sponsoring this week's wrap up! Check out their website for information for Latina Creative Agency's full-service marketing & PR expertise to connect with the coveted, diverse and powerful Latino community.

 

Let’s get this week Wrapped Up, shall we?

On Latina

Dying to ask me a question of your own? Email me! 

This week’s #Dimelo online column: Celebrating Cultural Diversity a la #multiculti style!

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On Girl Body Pride

An Excerpt from my Latina Pro-Choice commentary.

C.J. Redwine shares a guest post describing why she chose to regress women's rights in Defiance.

Liz Faber and The Sandwich that Saved her Life.

 

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Pin this, bitches.

This week's theme is coconuts. Which is ironic if you get the I speak fluent Spanish When I'm Drunk reference.

And finally, some Awesome by Other People

Beauty Redefined on Weight, Size, and Media Lies. 

My friend, the brilliant Mercedes M. Yardley, in a new interview on Lee Thompson's blog

A Recipe for Gluten-free Maple Covered Bacon Doughnuts on BlogHer.

And my new official favorite song and music video of all time by Dustin Tavella. You're Boyfriend is a Douchebag. Thank you to Latina Creative for sharing and sponsoring this week's Weekly Wrap.

You're welcome, Internet.

***

 

Interested in sponsoring the next Wrap-Up or nominating a Post Written By Someone Other Than Yourself for a mention and a link? Shoot me an email for details. I promise to come up for air while pinning and zulily-ing like a mad woman to take a look.

 

Totally.

Kim Kardashian's Unlikely Champion

 

photo(191)

 

Disclaimer: I'm not on Kim Kardashian's radar. I'm not even a blip in her world.

I'm also not a fan of reality T.V., think that Honey-Boo-Boo is a good idea on any level, or appreciate what Snookie did to my brain when I tried reading her book (Hey, I was curious.) Nor do I give a damn if Kim is in a bikini selling fat-burning pills or fully dressed and eating actual food. I might have issues with naming the baby North when her last name happens to be West -- mostly because... just...seriously?.... -- but that's a topic for a different post.

Just so we are clear, though, I don't keep up with the Kardashians. Unless I happen to see it in a cover story while checking out at the grocery store, I don't see it at all. I'm just not interested in the People Being Famous for Being Famous thing.

What I am interested in, however, is coming to terms with the fact that I'm finding myself defending Kim from society and the expected walk of shame any celebrity mom is subjected to via magazine cover story wars if she isn't showcasing a taut tummy in a skimpy bikini six weeks after pushing the baby out her hoo-ha. Trust me when I say I never thought I'd hear myself say anything that sounded like "Just leave the poor girl alone, dammit." Not about a Kardashian, anyway.

And yet, here I am. It was a given the moment I laid eyes on the headline. "Kim's Body Struggle." In Touch Magazine  added commentary such as "I Need to be Skinny Now!" and "The Struggle to Stop Eating for Two!" to make it all the more dramatic because if it's not sex that sells, drama is a reliable back-up. Even when the drama is bullshit.

Click! Comment! Repeat!

When I see something of interest, be it a guy juggling flaming sticks on a unicycle or a magazine that pisses me off, I get the iPhone out of my bra, snap a picture, and post it to instagram and the rest of my social media outlets. And I did just that while strangers wondered why I didn't just buy the magazine I was holding in my hand.

If you follow me online for five minutes, you'll know where my brain is pretty quickly. Body Image and working to help women see the value in themselves independent of the scale, bullshit BMIs, and Other People's Perceptions are big on my list. In my work (and as a lifelong recovering bulimic) I've come to learn that self-image is the great equalizer for us ladies. Doesn't matter if we are filthy fucking rich and famous, dirt poor and not, tall and thin, or short and Plus Size at a Size 10 and Up. We all have issues. We all have fat days. We all think we could be better/look better/be skinnier/weigh less and we've bought into society's bullshit message that we aren't good enough until approval is granted.

Glory & Lady Balls

We bitch the media tells us we aren't good enough just the way we are and then we buy another copy of People with a headline and a bikini telling us how we, too, can starve ourselves stupid in six weeks or less. We are obsessed with celebrity baby bumps and get pissy if we don't get our regular fix of Bump Watch because They Are Famous and We Must Glorify. Then we turn around and snicker when magazines go after Kim Kardashian or Melissa Joan Hart or Jessica Simpson for having the balls to eat food in public.

And we wonder why the rest of us are so fucked up? Why our daughters are asking us if they need to go on a diet instead of if they can please have some ice cream on a hot summer day? Or why we can't look in a mirror without picking our reflections apart? It's all a giant snowball that keeps rolling downhill, gathering more negative bits as it gets bigger and faster and rolls down the slippery slope heavier than it was just moments before. And giant snowballs suck.

Especially when we pretend they don't.

The Unlikely Champion

I might not be on the Kardashian Christmas card list, but I'm also not going to ignore comments stating that Kim deserves the backlash (and I did get a few of those.) Yes, I get that she made her name a household one with her body and that men are pissy that their sex symbol is currently preoccupied with motherhood and redefining normal. But that doesn't means Kim deserves to be ridiculed for being human any more than the rest of us do.

I'm not talking down to anyone who thinks like this because I used to think like this. To be honest, She Knew What She Was Getting Into did (see also: Big Girl Panties) did cross my mind more than once. But I caught myself. If this is the mindset, then only models & all of MTV should be subject to this type of backlash. And strippers, porn stars, Hugh hefner's girlfriends, and Hooters waitresse, too.

But it's not just them. It's all of us. We are all held to the  standard photo-shopped ideal of perfection. Kim Kardashian may be today's news based on (perceived) lack of sex appeal, but we are all dealing with the trickle-down effect. I am not a fan of the kardashian clan, but I'm not telling Kim she should have expected the media backlash and deal.

That's not fair to her. That's not fair to any of us.

 

The Weekly Wrap #3

 

Week 3.
New name.
Actually, it's the name I meant to use last week, and the name I thought I used until about three minutes ago when I logged in. The proof is the hashtag I've been using since last week when I started tweeting the link for the post. So technically speaking, this is only a partial do-over (and the last time I have to explain to potential sponsors that I'm only half-crazy and mostly medicated.
Anyway, I'm obviously a bit late on the wrap up and I have no qualms about blaming the squeaky-voiced 6 & 7-year-old sleeping in my basement guest room, the miserable humidity that is preventing me from freezing homemade ice-cream in the state of Maine, and the related bad hair month I'll be having until fall hits and cools this em-effer off. There's a reason we moved to this state, you guys, and it wasn't so I could sit here in my central-air-less home thanking God this shit only lasts for a short period of time. Trust me when I say four years in hell (otherwise known as The Desert) has given me perspective on how much I am allowed to bitch right now. Four weeks of 80 degree weather and a pixie-fro ain't got nuthin' on the 112 degrees in the shade my Tucson friends are telling me about on Facebook.
Funny though, because when it's -30 and 6' of snow outside and the rest of the world thinks I'm supposed to be miserable, I'll actually be in heaven (or in my snow-shoeing gear because that's basically the same thing). More proof for my theory that the Universe got my DNA order mixed up because this Mexican chick will take my parka and being able to see my breath over flip flops and sun dresses any day of the week.
That brings me to the sponsorship portion of the weekly wrap-up because this week there isn't one. The fourth of July kicked my ass this year (because we actually joined the living and celebrated) and I forgot to pay attention and check my inbox. Each week The Weekly Wrap is published will be (usually) thanks to sponsors. The profit leftover after I self-medicate with caffeine by drinking my weight in Canadian coffee will be pooled to lobby Target and Starbucks to make my life Suck Less by opening stores up here & not making me drink Canadian coffee all the time.I’m actually only half-kidding.

So, no sponsor this week BUT that just gives me a chance to pimp the Multi-Culti party at BlogHer in Chicago and remind you to stop by, mingle with me and my amazing co-hostesses, Ananda Leeke and Dwana Delacerna, and celebrate the cultures we come from (and take pride in). Me? I'm the Mexican in Maine married to the Mexican-American-Native-American-Italian-Irish-Canadian who likes it here who once thought in Spanish but now relies on Dora the Explorer to teach my kid simple words I've forgotten. I take pride in and celebrate my hyphen, think Spanglish rocks, and am totally at peace with my #multi-culti identity.

Your turn....

Let’s get this week Wrapped Up, shall we?

On Latina

This week's #Dimelo column: The Real Me (If I was Interviewed by a Tabloid)

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On Girl Body Pride

Regular contributor Margaret Elysia Garcia remembers James Gandolfini.

Me and my progesterone deficiency story.

Best-selling Mind Over Medicine author & GBP contributor Lissa Rankin on How to Wildly Succeed in Your Life's Work.

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Pin this, bitches....

 

And finally, some Awesome by Other People

Stacy Jill with the unoffial BlogHer 13 Lip dub! (and no, I haven't seen the one I'm in from last year. Let's keep it that way.)

Alisa Valdez of the Dirty Girls Social Club on The Stories We Tell Ourselves (& Why They Matter).
An incredible & thought provoking post on race, parenting, & raising our kids by A'Driane Dudley on BlogHer.

Interested in sponsoring the next Wrap-Up or nominating a Post Written By Someone Other Than Yourself for a mention and a link? Shoot me an email for details. I promise to come up for air while pinning and zulily-ing like a mad woman to take a look.

Totally.

 

Choose Your Word

I recently had the chance to hang out with Holly Fulger and friends (and fellow Speaking of Beauty contributing writers) in Holly's home in L.A. Don't freak out if you happen to be aware of The Cali Curse and the Me Being Banned from Ever Stepping Foot NEAR Cthe State of California thing. At least, not yet. I may eventually need to have a shaman clear me for seeing Holly in person, but right now it's all Google Hangout, but you're safe for now.

The purpose of our chat was to discuss the focus of our writing for Speaking of Beauty as Holly moves forward in her vision and her mission to grow the conversation of beauty, perception, and self-acceptance. That sounds a lot like Girl Body Pride, with my own personal flavor, of course, and I think it's why Holly and I were naturally drawn to each other. This, people, is one of the reasons I love social media. Pretty sure there's no way in hell there's any other way Regular Me would end up anywhere on Hollywood Actress Holly's radar without my iPhone in my bra, twitter, and 140 characters. And here I was helping Holly lead a group discussion focused on writing, inspiration, and sharing ourselves and our stories with the women looking to see themselves in our words.

Our conversation was incredible, the group is amazing, and even Eliana had a chance to sit on my lap and say hello to Holly, as she will soon be joining the ranks as an official contributor to the site. I just need to remember to drink an espresso before the next time we get together, and perhaps write up a few bullet points to stay on track, because I'm pretty sure I gave the impression that I like sniffing glue.

Other than that, I learned I'm inspiring.

It's my word.

Speaking of Beauty features a Style Profile Test designed by Holly and business partner Melissa McNamara. The idea is pretty simple: Choose your word and find your essence. Holly and Melissa plan to launch a makeup line in the near future and the style profile is meant to help women realize that beauty truly is an inside job by first defining themselves before defining their style.

Choose your word and find yourself. Are you an Inpsirer? A Seeker? A Dreamer? a Leader? or a Thinker?

 

GROUP 1                                                                                                                               Visionary, Inventive, Original, Authentic, Spontaneous, Unconventional, Sexy, Outgoing, Idealistic, Inspiring, Stylish, Motivating, Exciting, Influential    YOUR WORD___________

GROUP 2                                                                                                                                 Curious, Funny, Natural, Musical, Entertaining, Joyous, Playful,Whimsical, Eccentric, Vibrant, Artistic, Blithe, Vivacious, Creative                                                                    YOUR WORD ____________

GROUP 3                                                                                                                      Caring, Gentle, Peaceful, Graceful, Spiritual, Deep, Source, Ageless, Classic, Serene, Balanced, Soulful, Ethereal, Still                                                                                                         YOUR WORD ____________

GROUP 4                                                                                                                          Passionate, Powerful, Independent, Commanding, Adventurous, Fearless, Bold, Athletic, Brave, Risk-Taking, Heroic, Confident, Indomitable, Forceful                                           YOUR WORD____________

GROUP 5                                                                                                                        Strong, Rational, Wise, Centered, Honest, Elegant, Prosperous, Logical, Focused, Loyal, Determined, Organized, Striking, Driven                                                                            YOUR WORD____________

WHAT ARE YOUR 5 WORDS?   __________,  _________,  ________, _________,   ___________

NOW CHOOSE 3 __________,   ___________,    ___________

NOW CHOOSE 1 __________

 

My 5: Inspiring, Creative, Deep, Bold, Driven

My 3: Inspiring, Creative, Driven

 

My Word: Inspiring

 

 

According to the Style Test on Speaking of Beauty, Inspirers are visionaries, idealistic, and spontaneous.

 

Inspirers stand out from the rest. Others follow you and the influence that you embody is very compelling. Your look has been designed to accentuate the aspects of your visionary nature. Since you are unafraid to take chances, a bold palette has been created. The Inspirer’s strength and sense of purpose can be conveyed by strong colors, a distinctive eye, and a defined lip. -- Speaking of Beauty

 

That sounds about right.

Me? I like my red lipstick.

You? What's your word?

Find it. Then go out and live it.

 

 

 

Housekeeping! (A List in Accented English)

* Yes, I did in fact say that in my head with an exaggerated Spanish-accented English voice. * Because I can.

* If you don't laugh, you're actually hurting my feelings.

* Things are insane.

* Hence, the list.

* Turns out you guys are all Made of Awesome.

* Why, you ask?

* Because 418 of you signed my Change.org petition to get Disney to drop the sex kitten crap with Merida.

* It's too late.

* Maybe.

* She's been crowned & the new image is available on a variety of Crap We'll Buy Our Kids Because We're Giant Suckers.

* And because even if she's been sexed up, the movie is still amazing.

* Oh right.

* Because if we tell our children it's the message that matters and not the size of her waistline, we done good.

* We have no choice, really, since Disney contradicted the very message behind Brave with this whole debacle.

* You know, the one about family, independence, and finding the strength to find out own fates within us?

* Yeah, that one.

* The happy asides?

* A Mighty Girl has a petition with over 18,000 signatures.

* Brave's director is a bit pissed off about the animated plastic surgery job, too.

* So high five on that, y'all.

* New subject.

* Keep up with me, will you?

* I've got an updated version of my Mind Over Medicine review on Girl Body Pride.

* You'll want to stop by.

* Gigi Ross from Kludgey Mom needs some love.

* And Lissa Rankin has written a book I promise you'll want to read.

* Trust me on this one.

* Also? I've got a winner for the Aspiring Mama giveaway of Mind Over Medicine.

* Tanessa Knoll? Buttercup just said Comment Number Two is my winner.

* So ... you're welcome.

* Email me your address, will ya?

* Twitter works, too.

* New subject.

* Yes.

* AGAIN.

* Buttercup is about to follow in Mama's footsteps.

* Little girl has been granted permission by The Mama (me) & The Daddy (The Husband) for a pretty cool gig.

* Girlfriend is going to be a regular contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team.

* Which also happens to include me.

* I know, right?

* The girl can read at a fourth grade level but has the typing skills of a 5-year-old.

* Probably because she is five.

* So I can't knock her for that.

* Instead, I'll be transcribing my baby's words and views on what beauty means to her.

* I promise not to edit what she says.

* I hope like hell I've done right by her and taught her that beauty is everywhere.

* That the only size that matters when it comes to beauty is the size of our hearts.

* And that society is full of assholes who will try & knock her down a peg or two but that they don't matter.

* I'll know I've succeeded in about 10 years.

* If the child is self-assured enough to wear this when she's 15 because it makes her happy without giving a damn what you think?

 

* I win at motherhood.

* Whiplash warning.

* New subject.

* I really need to take my Xanax.

* That wasn't the subject change.

* Just proof that I need the fucking Xanax.

* This is the subject change...

* Dammit.

* I forgot.

* No, wait.

* GOT IT!

* Girl Body Pride has new team members!

* Congrats to Heidi Zalamar and Margaret Elysia Garcia.

* You guys kick major ass.

* I promise to add your bios to the writer page sometime before 2014 hits.

* Was that all?

* No, seriously.

* I was asking you if I needed to cover anything else before I chase that Xanax with an instant espresso.

* Shut up.

* It works for me.

* Last subject.

* I'm still sitting in a secret.

* And it's a Big One.

* Oh...

* And The Husband just warned me to be on the lookout for the family of moose in the area when I let the dogs out.

* Drops Mic & Saunters Offstage.