I’m back!

*peers around the corner*

Is anyone still hanging out around here?

I poured hot coffee into my MacBook’s keyboard a few months back, and it crapped out completely on me in October. I’ve been using my iPad as I could, but after 25+ years of typing on a real keyboard, trying to type on an iPad keyboard was a test of my patience (and I regularly failed).

I’m online on a new laptop (thank you Coop) and hoping to get back into the swing of things with technology. My first priority has been job applications, but in the works, there’s a novel, photos to edit, and a business brand to develop. I have things to do, man!

What’s new with you?

Favorite Wardrobe Pieces

  1. Reef Women’s Dream Flip Flop: the most comfortable flip flops I’ve ever invested in. screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-1-46-28-pmI’ve worn through three pair since moving to California seven years ago. I live in flip flops, so I know which are comfortable. These? Black on black perfection on my sock-hating feet!
  2. Banana Republic Zero Gravity Skinny Ankle screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-1-48-42-pmjeans: I buy these most often from the outlet store, but I would gladly spend $120 on a pair of Banana Republic Zero Gravity Skinny Ankle jeans. They stay UP all day (zero gravity!) and they are thick enough to feel like denim. They look like leggings, work like denim, and squeeze my butt perfectly. I love these jeans. I did find that you can get a pair of Banana Republic Factory Regular Skinny-fit jeans  on Amazon if you’re looking to pay half-price!
  3. Maidenform’s Women’s Dream Lace Hipsters are my go-to undies. screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-1-57-12-pmI’ve got fifteen pair (all a size too big now!) and I wear them with anything and everything. I rarely ever get a panty line from these undies, and I always feel cute, if not sexy, in them. The lace does tear easily, but if you’re aware that you’re pulling on lace, you can keep it in one whole piece. There are dozens of prints and patterns you can choose from, and even though they’ll cover your booty, they’ll also make your man want to take them OFF your booty.
  4. Since I’ve been working out, my least favorite body part has shrunk. I’m thrilled screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-1-59-43-pmbecause it means I can then wear these Bustier Floral Lace Crop Top Bralettes instead of the Maidenform maximum coverage nude boring bras. I wish now I had purchased a few of these in bright cheerful colors, but for now I own a white, black, and nude one. I also would recommend buying a size smaller than you think you’ll need. Maybe it’s just me, but screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-2-06-47-pmI bought a large, and my chest is now apparently a medium! Anyway, it’s stretchy, comfortable, the lace is not itchy, and the straps stay up. This bralette is even cute enough to poke out from the side or bottom of a tank or crop top if you’re brave!
  5. Throwing on a cute tunic top over my Banana Republic skinny jeans is the way to go — no matter how much wheat I’ve eaten the day before, I can hide a bit of bulge with a beautiful blue top. I also am of the mindset that LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS and so if I want to wear leggings, I also have to wear something that screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-2-09-42-pmkeeps my booty and front-junk covered. Throwing on a blue tunic makes my eyes pop (they are blue, too), and covers all the requisite parts, so I’m absolutely comfortable all day long.
  6. The final addition to my favorite pieces of an outfit are a set of silver splashy earrings. The pairs I’ve been wearing lately have been an investment from StitchFix, but Amazon has heaps of sterling silver earrings that I could lovingly add to my collection. These Sterling Silver Filigree Teardrop Earrings from Amazon would be among the first additions to my collection.

 

What are some of your favorite wardrobe pieces?

Irons in the Fire

I have too many irons in my fire. I like to be busy, and since I’m not working, I have to make my own busy … and I’m doing too many things not well enough lately.

  • I have writing to do.
  • I have bullet journaling to do.
  • I have blog posts to draft.
  • I have a house that needs a fall-cleaning.
  • I have laundry that needs washing, drying, folding, and away-putting.
  • I have a to-do list that needs attacking.

I’m not doing any of these at 100%, and in fact, some of them are being thrown by the wayside (when was the last time I wrote?) to handle other things. I want three irons and three fires. I need to consolidate my brain into little compartments full of tasks and open a SINGLE drawer at a time.

I’ve spent the past two or three years wondering if I don’t have adult attention deficit disorder. I am a Gemini, so my mind is always going in 93,000 directions at the same time, but I’m almost to the point where I can’t get anything done even when they’re little goals. I need a new mindset. Time to find a book.

 

Imperfection is perfection

Years ago when Brene Brown first spoke on vulnerability, a friend sent me the video as inspiration. I regularly watch this 20-minute TED talk on shame, vulnerability, honesty, and growth because Brown’s words are poignant, powerful, and encouraging.

 

“the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy. And to me, the hard part of the one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we’re not worthy of connection,”

My inner critic is skilled at telling me I’m not worthy of the great things I offered or received. She’s also practiced at reminding me that I deserve anything (and everything) negative that comes my way. She’s kind of a bitch, actually.

So, why can’t I shut up the critic inside? Well, first of all she’s been a part of me since I was a child … it’s hard to let go of a life-long frenemy. Second, if my inner critic doesn’t tell me my writing is crap, someone else will have to. That means another human will know I’m not perfect. I can’t have that! Third, if I rid myself of my inner critic, might someone worse invite themselves in? Would I be able to handle someone who talked even more terribly to me?

I’m working on learning to live with my inner critic. I talk to her, tell her to shove off, to shut up, to jump off a cliff, and I derisively laugh at her when she’s wrong. (Yanno, she’s actually wrong quite a bit.) I’m working on asking her “WHO CARES?” when she talks shit to me. If I don’t care, does it really matter if others do? I’m learning to not care.

I’ve learned to notice when she pops into my consciousness, why she’s present, and I can almost count on the actual words that she says to me. I’ve realized that no matter how loudly she announces “You’re not enough,” I can stick my tongue out at her sassier, flip her the bird more fiercely, or kick her in the teeth even harder. When she plays a movie of  my failures and mistakes, I can mute her, smash the speakers, or simply unplug the electricity. I’m learning to work around her.

If my inner critic were a solid-body woman in my life, I would flat out refuse to be her friend. If I spoke to you the way she speaks to me, you wouldn’t want to be my friend either. I’m learning to talk back to her.

these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.

I am imperfect.

We are all imperfect.

I’m going to learn to be okay being imperfect.

Make your vegetables interesting

Thankfully I live in a house where everyone loves vegetables, but so many of my friends and family members struggle to get leafy greens and vibrant produce into household bellies.

broccoli-cauliflower-628x363I accidentally discovered a way to make vegetables so palatable that the three-year-0ld asks to have more… and then requests you “please put these broccolis in my lunch!” When your pre-schooler asks for (cold) broccoli leftovers, you know you’ve done something right.

So, what do I do?

Crave-worthy Cruciferous Vegetables

  1. mince half a yellow onion
  2. mince four cloves of garlic
  3. toss 2 tablespoons of butter and your onion and garlic into a stock pot
  4. turn on high heat, let sizzle until you can smell the yumminess
  5. pour cup of water (or chicken stock!) into the stock pot and bring to a boil; put on lid
  6. once thoroughly boiling, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to water; if you use stock, you may not need salt) and a dash of pepper
  7. dump 1-inch pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, or other steam-able vegetable into pot
  8. add enough water/stock to float vegetables, put on lid, bring to a roiling boil and then TURN OFF STOVE
  9. leave stockpot lidded and on stove burner for ten or so minutes to steam vegetables
  10. strain when tender to your liking, leaving onions and garlic mixed into the cooked vegetables

Serve piping hot, or cold as leftovers in lunch.

 

What do you do to vegetables to make them interesting?