Thursday, August 14

No Thigh Gap Necessary... Part 2




this is me mid sentence while pulling hair out of my mouth, not gawking at someone, promise. :)
(for the sake of complete exposure, here are some of the pictures that didn't make my last blog post cause I thought they were too ugly.)

In my last post I opened up and revealed the things I didn't like about my body, and then as I started getting comments from my readers on instagram, facebook, texts, in person, and on the blog. I realized that we ALL have things we don't like about ourselves. Even those crazy beautiful people that we have been comparing ourselves too. I knew this before, but it was just such an overwhelming response that I figured i'd talk a bit about it.

I'm a hairdresser, as I start the consultation section of the appointment I ask my clients: "What's one thing you love about your hair, and one thing you wish you could change?" Almost every time the answer is "I can tell you 10 things I hate about my hair, but... hmmm... what do I love?? Let me get back to you on that." Or something along those lines. Well, I feel like that is the exact same way that we feel about our bodies. We can list tons and tons of things that we wish were different about our bodies, but it's so infrequent that we think about things we love about them, so it's hard to know what to say.

Think about it. The salon is just one place where people go to get what they don't naturally have. That's how I make my living, from people coming to me wishing for something different. I give perms to people who have straight hair, and brazilian blow outs to those with curly hair, I put extensions in those with thin short hair, and cut off and thin out those with long thick hair, I dye blonde girls brunette, and bleach brunettes to be blonde, I color unwanted grays, and wax unwanted hair.

But the thing is, it's not always a bad thing. Most of the time I help women embrace the natural texture of their hair by giving them a cut that helps it lay in a more manageable way. Most of the time I give them those sun kissed highlights that they usually get in the summer, but it's winter and they are wanting a little sprucing up. Most of the time I just do trims in order to help their hair stay healthy. Most of the time I am trying to help them truly embrace the most beautiful parts about themselves, and finding ways to emphasize those instead of changing them entirely. Or, in some cases, just giving them a beautiful blow-out to show them what their hair can already do if they just take the time.

So, i'm gonna bash the excuses in my head like "well if I tell them that I love this part of my body everyone will think that I am just trying to brag about myself and think i'm self-centered" and "what if it's something I like, but they don't like? Or even worse, what if I say that I like something about my body, but they think it's hideous?" and instead i'm just gonna just say it.

-I like my height. Being short just fits my personality.
-I like the color of my hair, not because I want my hair to be that color, but because it is easy to change. It's right in-between blonde and brown and so when the time comes for me to bleach it, it lifts easily and fast, and when I want to be brunette the re-growth isn't terrible. Also, i'm so grateful that i'm not going gray yet.
-I like the color, and size of my eyes. I have big blue eyes that aren't squinty in pictures when I smile, and they brighten up my entire face.
-Even though I think my lips are crooked and soak up way too much chapstick because of their size, they are my most complimented feature, so they have to appear on my list of "likes" because it's always nice to be complimented.
-I like my long fingernail beds, weirdest "like" ever. But... when I was in hairschool and we were working on our nail technician section, everyone wanted to do my nails cause I don't get overgrown cuticles, and my nail beds are skinny and long. I was even told I could be a hand model if my pointer finger wasn't so crooked. ;)

I'm not going to lie, that list was hard. It was seriously difficult to come up with a list of things I liked about my body. But... i'm not done yet. There's one more thing I want to try. In my last post I listed out things I didn't like about myself, but... deep down I know that I have to like them because they are a part of me, and because i'm lucky that they at least do their proper functions, even though they might not look great while performing those functions. So, let me just say...

I complained about my thighs, those same thighs that don't have a gap between them, but have never failed me in getting me from point a to point b. I complained about my crooked fingers, those same fingers that are currently typing on this blog, the ones that help me share myself with others. I complained about my thin hair, that never grows. But on the positive side it takes a total of 10 minutes for it to dry without a blow dryer. That's just awesome, trust me, from all the thousands of blow outs I've done. I know. And, I only have to get a haircut every 6 months. Woot woot! I complained about my big feet, and hideous toes, but I've learned that the size 7.5 shoe is very common (usually it is on women who are much taller than me, but common nonetheless) so it's easy for me to share shoes with friends. And who really cares about toes anyway? They're always ugly. ;) I complained about my rib-cage being too big and broad, but I've learned that it's great for storing my organs when a baby decides to take up 90% of the room in there. Thank goodness for my spacious rib-cages that let me continue to sleep through the night without needing to wake up to go pee in those final stages of pregnancy. I complained about my hips that don't give me any curves, but those hips attracted the best husband ever, so I'd call that a win. I complained about my arms looking like sausages in the right (or wrong) shirts, but who likes to wear tight long sleeve shirts anyway? Good riddance from my closet! I complained about my freckles and how sometimes they look like acne or acne scars, but they also hide what few acne bumps and acne scars I have very well. I complained about my belly, and the excess fat that loves to live there. But, that belly made Bayli, and will make my future children, and I know from friends and family who couldn't have their own kids, that a little, or a lot, of excess fat is nothing in comparison to being able to see my own face in the reflection of my daughter, knowing that she is mine.

so... I challenge you, just start with the small things like answering these two questions for me in the comments below. what's one thing you love about your body, and one thing you wish you could change? and then, tell me one great thing that unwanted part of your body still does for you? I promise that you will feel a sense of relief once you admit it, and I promise you will think more highly of yourself once you realize that even those terrible unwanted things about yourself still do amazing things.

Food for thought: "Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter. And those who matter, don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, August 13

No Thigh Gap Necessary









|Shirt: Old Navy|Pants: Vintage from Urban Renewal|Shoes: F21|Purse: Aldo|Jewelry: Nordstrom Rack|

Lets get something straight... I am not a fashion blogger.

I did this post awhile back because I wanted the free dress and because I seriously thought the company was worth sharing. NOT because I wanted to become a fashion blogger.

You're probably wondering why I did this post today if I am not trying to be a fashion blogger. Well, to answer that I have to tell you a few other things about myself first.

-I had a baby. That baby made some of my skin have stretch marks, and made other parts flabby, and other parts bigger. The only thing that really got smaller through the process was my self confidence.
-I didn't have the perfect body even before I got pregnant.
-When I was in middle school, before I found out that I had a thyroid disorder, I was one pretty big kid. But even back then my favorite part about myself was my legs, for some reason I just didn't gain weight there.
-I have stayed the same pant size since 7th grade. A size 0. Even the day I delivered Bayli I was wearing my size 0 pants.

So... this year when I heard about the "thigh gap" and realized that I didn't have one, and that I have never had one, even when I weighed a mere 110 pounds in high school. I still didn't have that oh so coveted thigh gap. I started to hate the one part of my body that I have always loved: my legs.

For months it has been this internal hate, stewing. Nothing that I shared with anyone, nothing that I really even complained about. I just was so depressed realizing that I didn't like a single area of my body. If I wasn't spending my time wishing I had a thigh gap I was thinking that my feet were too big and my toes are just gross, my arms can look like sausages if the shirt is too tight, my rib cage is way too broad and big, my hips don't give me any curves, my hair is too thin and won't grow, my freckles look like acne under the right lighting, my smile is crooked because of a scar I got in high school, even my pointer finger looks like it's been broken and points in the wrong direction, and don't even get me started on my belly. I had constantly been thinking this way about myself until...

A few months ago when Garrison and I started talking about when to get pregnant again. I came up with all these reasons to wait to get pregnant, like work, money, vacations, etc. But when he came up with solutions to all my worries, I finally had to admit that I was nervous about getting pregnant because I wanted to lose more weight, and get that "perfect body" first.

Well, I could talk about how much my husband told me that he loves every inch of my body, and how he thinks I already have "the perfect body" but I'm not going to. I'm going to talk about Bayli. The girl who was created by my body.

It's for her.

That's the answer to your question about why I am doing this cliche' fashion blogger post today. I am doing it for my daughter Bayli, and for my future children that this body will create.

I did these pictures with my second day, unwashed, no extensions, hairstyle. I'm only wearing blush, mascara, and lip gloss. I literally threw up hours before the pictures were taken (tmi?). These pictures are a reflection of me on an everyday basis (minus the throwing up). I am doing this post so that she will look back and realize that having a thigh gap wasn't necessary to my happiness. It isn't keeping me from posting these pictures all over the internet. I have flaws, we all do, but not having a thigh gap isn't a flaw.

I don't know what the "thigh gap" of Bayli's generation will be. Maybe everyone will be wanting stick straight hair, or defined arms, or knocked knees, or blue eyes, or smooth soft elbows. But just like the thigh gap, whatever trend is popular and desired in her generation I hope she learns from her momma's mistakes and realizes that it's nothing to waste your time thinking about wishing you could change. And, if you do, as soon as you've accomplished it, the trend will move on to the next thing. Instead focus on trying to become more kind, or confident, or honest, or helpful, or smart, or spiritual or just learning to be herself, whatever that may be.

As much as I wish I could say that I had this change of heart because I realized that I didn't need to fit the fashion industry's mold of perfection all on my own, I can't. I had this change of heart because I recognized that I am someone's mother. And as I type this with tears in my eyes I know that in a few years, she will want to be like me. 'Cause that's what daughters do, they look up to their mothers. I am determined to become someone that she can look up to and be inspired to be better, not feel depressed because of something as silly as she doesn't have my soft elbows.

So... this one's for you Bayli. I love you, you are becoming such a wonderful woman. Always remember, you are beautiful, don't let anyone, (especially not the fashion industry) tell you otherwise.

*******************************************************************

If you'd like to read more on this subject, here's part two.

Monday, August 4

The Carnival


you already know how awesome carnivals are, so i'm not going to bore you with the details, instead i will just tell you what you can already tell from the pictures: WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!  carnivals and children are just made for each other, well besides all the creepy carnies and clowns.












Friday, August 1

Refashion: making a Kimono from a Scarf


for this project you will need:
-5 minutes of your time
-one large scarf, (if it is a skinny long scarf it will hug your body tightly instead of loose and flowy, if it is a wide but short scarf it won't cover your entire torso so try to use a wide and long scarf for this refashion, i got mine from target)
-thread to match
-sewing machine, serger, or both.
-scissors

first you take your scarf and fold it in half hamburger style so that the two shorter sides are touching and make sure the right sides are together!

next you sew (or serge, although i prefer sewing) 2/3 of the way up towards the fold both sides to create a armholes.

next you are going to cut up the middle of one half of the fabric, this is creating the kimono opening and neck. (your head will be at the top of the photograph if that helps you visualize how this will all turn out)

next you need to create a wider opening for your neck, so cut about 8 inches length wise along the top fold, 4 inches long on each side of the cut you just made, and then diagonally take that cut towards your center cut making two triangles. or creating a "V-neck" look.

try it on to make sure it looks right, for me i did not like all the yellow in the center of my chest, and i thought there was too much bulky fabric.

so... i cut more of the material off to create a removed rectangle area as you can see in the picture below. so that it kind of looked like an oversized vest with sleeves.

then i tried it on again, and liked it, so i used my serer and serged around the unfinished edges along the opening of the kimono and the neck. if you do not have a serger, do a rolled hem, or simply use a zig-zag stitch right along the edge to create a make-shift serged finish.

cut off excess strings and your all done!




in the end it took a total of 3 seams, one on each side, and the one long serger stitch around the middle and only one cut. how easy is that?? and, because i used a bit thicker of a scarf i can continue to use this kimono in the winter for added warmth! i plan on making more kimono's using this tutorial later with much lighter material and i'll post those too so you can see how those look. i am sooo happy with the way it turned out and cannot believe how easy it was! next time, with the loser project i plan on adding a bit of lace trim along the edges to give it a little more POP!

stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Saturday, July 5

Fourth of July 2014

a fairly unusual question is to ask someone what their favorite season is, and an even less common question is to ask someone what their favorite holiday is, mostly because, everyone knows 90% of the time it's either going to be Christmas or their birthday. so why ask? one time in my college apartment complex i met this girl, (her name is Audrey if you really must know.) her favorite holiday was the fourth of july. i was baffled, i thought it was as weird as saying your favorite holiday was harbor day or national brush your hair day. anyway, i was lucky enough to celebrate the fourth of july with her that year, and let me tell you, it truly was her favorite holiday, everything decorated in her apartment, she was dressed to the nines in red white and blue, and while she was always a happy person, on that day she just glowed. i still don't know what it was about the holiday that made her love it so much, but every fourth of july since i have thought about her and her positive attitude and genuine love of that day.

i guess that's because the fourth of july was definitely not my favorite holiday.

my older brother was born on the fourth of july. so... the day was always spent partying and celebrating, and that's great! but... we always did these things for him, and the things that he wanted. the fourth was a day spent celebrating with family, but when i was little i wanted to celebrate the fourth without my brothers input, i wanted to go with my friends, or go to the lake, or sleep in.

now that i am older and wiser, and maybe it's all because of meeting Audrey, but my opinions of the holiday have drastically changed. the fourth of july is now not only a birthday for my brother, but also a birthday for our country! what a wonderful thing to celebrate! everyone gets all patriotic and shows the world how much we love being Americans, and how grateful we are for those who have been wounded or died defending, and protecting it and it's values.

This year, we spent it doing what we have done almost every year. but for some weird reason, it didn't feel monotonous, it was as if i was doing these activities for the first time. viewing the fireworks with childlike wonder, and being amazed at the hot air balloons being blown up and taking off. eating hot dogs and hamburgers that were so delicious and juicy that you didn't care about the shirt you were staining with spilled grease from your lips. and finding so much joy from the "pop" explosion that came from throwing down a tiny paper sack filled with the smallest amount of gun powder to scare the person sitting next to you. watching little kids eat watermelon and the permanent red smile that comes from drinking a glass of cherry kool-aide. it's all just so quintessentially summer.

i really don't know what changed, maybe i am starting to see the world again through  Bayli's eyes now that she is old enough to learn about it and to ask questions. but this years fourth of july was wonderful, and if i could, i would love to re-live this happiest of birthdays over and over and over again.

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>

i only took pictures of our trip down to provo to see the hot air balloons take off at the crack of dawn, the rest of the day i relaxed and wore overalls and didn't worry about social media and just soaked all of the sunshine in. but, here are some pictures of our morning, and honestly, it's the coolest thing! these pictures are pretty awesome, and they don't do it justice. i highly recommend going next year if you can.

 ^^ it starts off at 6:00 with the alexander balloon taking off, carrying the flag, we all listen to the star spangled banner, and then as it comes back down to give back the flag, all of the other balloons start filling up with air. after the alexander balloon drops the flag off, it takes off once again and starts the race.

 ^^in this photo you can tell that even before the alexander balloon touches ground a lot of the balloons are already up, or on their way. also, my sister and her husband are the best babysitters while i am neglecting my child because of these pictures. :)
 ^^ a view from inside, you can't see it from my angle, but they use a huge fan to fill it up.

 ^^those tired sleepy eyes and the tiniest "Y" on the mountain,

^^ you can see in this picture the alexander balloon in the lead, starting the race. also, smokey the bear is basically everyone's favorite.
^^ this was her face 90% of the morning. the other 10% was her completely-distracted-cause-i-can't-focus-on-one-thing face.







^^and finally, the last one takes off just as the sun peaks over our beautiful mountains.