Thoughts about being a kid with glasses

Today I was browsing through the feed on my facebook page, the way I do every morning after checking emails, but before going to pinterest. I have a strict time-wasting website schedule. Anyway, I came across a post from a friend of mine, someone I’ve only hung out with once or twice, but I’ve gotten to know her pretty well from FB. She is always posting pictures of her husband, her son and daughter, and they always seem really happy and like they are having a great time together. It’s nice to see some positive posts, since 90% of my feed is just people complaining about stuff. Myself included.

Anyway, the post this morning was basically this: “Last night my daughter told my husband that she thinks she is ugly. That she looks ugly with her glasses on. She seemed so sad and her little voice sounded so fragile. If anyone could leave a comment for her, to help her feel better and I will read them all to her. Thanks.” (For her privacy I paraphrased a bit.)

Heart. Breaking. This kid is only 6, and she just recently got her glasses. Now I’ve seen some kids out there that are, shall we say, “less than handsome”, but this little girl is not one of them. She’s adorable, and her little tiny glasses are ridiculous. So cute.

But to read that this morning just made me so sad for her. I can relate, I was really self-conscious when I got my glasses too. Kids can be horrible to one another, and according to the unabridged version of the post, this “ugly” business was brought on by some less-than-awesome comments from her classmates. I got my glasses when I was about 7, and I got some teasing about it myself. Luckily I was the kind of child that had very early on established my “take no crap from nobody” reputation, so a few threats back and some nasty glares from me and the bullying started to go away.

But the harder bully to deal with was myself. I felt weird. I felt like my glasses were like a wall between me and other people, and I just couldn’t forget that they were on my face, making me feel different and awkward. I wore them as little as possible, but it was hard because I couldn’t see the blackboard in school without them.

I wasn’t really comfortable wearing them until I was older, in high school, and I was far more concerned with more important things like flirting with guys and shopping for Doc Martens and babydoll dresses. And by that time, they became an actual accessory. I liked that they made me look smarter, and I liked picking out cool frames. I also liked that guys suddenly seemed to like girls with cute glasses, thanks to indi-tarts like Lisa Loeb, so I exploited that to my advantage.

But the years of wearing my glasses and feeling different were tough. I hate thinking that this little girl feels bad about herself for something so trivial. But when you are a kid, glasses are NOT trivial. They are major. They are on your face, messing up your life and they are the end of the world if they make you different or if the other kids make fun of you.

It’s easy to look back on those times now that I’m older and be like, “Glasses are no big deal, just ignore those other kids.”. But in that moment as a kid, you just can’t do that. I hope that this girl finds the strength to ignore the bullies. I hope that she finds a way to be okay with how she looks, and to appreciate looking smarter than the other kids. It’s something that has to come within, and nothing anyone says will truly make her feel good about herself until she realizes it herself.

But the best thing ever would be if these mean kids would just mind their own business and stop picking on kids for stuff that really matters ZERO in the real world. Do they hear parents picking on other adults for similar stuff? Do the parents tease the kids about small stuff, thinking it’s just light-hearted? It’s not. Kids take stuff to heart and something you think is just “teasing” really takes the helium out of their balloon, so to speak.

So maybe we should all watch the way we tease each other sometimes, or how critical we can be of strangers and even our own families. Bullying is such a huge problem in this world, when all we need to do to solve it is just break the cycle and be a little sweeter to each other.

I hope this girl figures out that she is beautiful and that she has no reason to be hard on herself or feel awkward. I hope she learns to look up to smart and beautiful women like Tina Fey, Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones who wear glasses and look awesome doing it.

And I also hope she tells those kids where to shove their “opinions” of her.

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Malted Milkshake cupcakes

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Guys! I made the best cupcakes this weekend for our good friends Laura and Brady. These are malted milkshake cupcakes. Wow, this frosting is so good I will definitely make these again. I found the recipe here.

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One note though if you do make these though, use half the recipe for the frosting. I made the whole amount, and it made about 3X what I needed. I ended up throwing away so much of this goodness, and it made me sad to waste it!

And jussssst to balance out the delicious photos above, here are the new running shoes I got last week, and I’m well on my way to breaking these babies in!

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Happy to report, no shin splints since combining these new shoes with my insoles. So glad to have possibly gotten over that hurdle, because running is much easier in the right shoes. In fact, I’m off to run off some another of those cupcakes now…!

Lady business

I usually avoid writing too much personal information on this blog, because TMI is not always a good thing when you are looking for light reading on your lunch break. However I have realized something recently and wanted to share my experience with you, because maybe it could help other people too. But if there are any men-folk reading this, feel free to ditch this post, I won’t be offended! ;)

A few months ago I decided to stop taking birth control. Gulp. After 11 years taking those tiny pills it was a big decision. This was brought on by the fact that my husband and I are thinking about starting our family and I wanted to have any and all chemicals out of my system that I could before we started trying to have a baby. Plus I was curious about how my body would function without it, and to see if any changes would happen to me or my hormones. Turns out, there are a lot of changes.

Now I’m not saying everyone would have the same experience that I have had, but there are definite noticeable, positive changes that have been happening to me.

The first of all is that I sleep better. The longer I am off of the pill I feel more rested when I wake up, and I’m remembering my dreams, which is new for me. I never remembered my dreams! I woke up laughing yesterday because I dreamed that Matt Damon was changing his name to “Neptune” and becoming a bodybuilder. Where did that come from? My crazy brain, being random and creative. Last night I dreamed I was in some sort of “Great Race” type reality show and I was running an obstacle course across the countryside. And then I stopped and ate raspberry ice cream at a farmer’s market. Bahahah!

Secondly, I have motivation again. It’s no accident that I’ve been working out like crazy and enjoying it. I felt so tired and sluggish all the time, and I blame hormones. I have felt like I am waking up, that I’ve been wasting time being tired and lazy for so many years. My body is ready to move, and is capable of much more than just sitting at work all day, coming home and sitting on the couch until dinner and then sitting in front of the computer all night. How boring is that?? I feel energized and excited for any physical changes that come along, but feeling strong and having endurance are their own reward.

Third, my appetite has dropped off drastically. I was ALWAYS hungry. Always snacking and craving junk food and had to make the most of every meal. No small meals for me, I wanted big, heavy stuff all the time, and I’d eat until my plate was clean. Lately I’ve been okay with just one order of nuggets from Wendy’s and a glass of water for lunch. Hahaha, so not like me! The other day I went to subway and got just a sub on whole wheat bread, and had that with a glass of water too. I’m not craving sugar and salt and fat like I was, and I’ve even skipped a couple of meals for just not being hungry. I know people deny that the pill makes women gain weight, but I really feel like the pill causes the symptoms that cause women to gain weight.

Fourth and biggest of all, I haven’t had crazy mood swings or depression. Could be that all of my working out helps with that too, but it’s odd for me not to have a little cry-fit every couple of days over nothing at all. I have had ups and downs, most of which I’ve kept private. I would get snotty for no reason, or let the fact that my husband didn’t read my mind and fold the laundry make me super angry. I was telling a friend of mine about stopping birth control around the time I stopped, and she said that she couldn’t take it at all because it made her severely depressed. I didn’t think anything of my depression problems, since they tend to plague my whole family so I never made any connection to depression and the pill. But I really feel like that since going off of the medication my mind is clearer, more rational and less prone to fits of anger or extreme sadness.

Again, I really can’t say if everyone would have these same results but it’s been almost three months now and I feel like I’m more myself that I’ve been in a long time. Who knows what these shitty chemicals we put in our bodies are really doing to us? This whole thing has really got me thinking about what I put into my body, and maybe I deserve better than that.

High arches and playlists

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Yesterday I made a fairly big commitment to this running habit I’ve picked up. I went to Roadrunner and got custom insoles. These are not cheap but damn are they awesome. I am heading to the gym shortly to try them out with a good run, but just wearing them around the house all day has made a difference.

According to the analysis, I have extremely high arches and I tend to lean on the outside of my left foot. I also have little flexibility in my ankles, and all of these things are contributing to my shin splints problem. Even though I’ve been stretching and warming up, it’s probably not enough and my muscles are trying to over-correct for the way I walk. The new insoles should really help support my feet better and make running/walking easier. Like I said, it was a little pricey but hopefully worth it. I’m at the point now with running where i really feel like I could keep going but the pain in my shins makes me stop, and that sucks. Hopefully not anymore! Cannot wait until the weather cools down again and i can run outside. I know it’s going to feel completely different from the treadmill so I want to be in top form for whatever hills and valleys come along.

I’ve also been building some good playlists for the gym, and since I keep searching other people’s playlists for inspiration I thought maybe I should post mine too, in case anyone wants some good music to move to!

  • Lonely Boy, The Black Keys- A good beat and catchy as hell, I find myself running faster to keep up with it.
  • Starlight, Muse-A good song to zone out to and forget you are exercising.
  • 24, Jem-This song has such a good build to it, and her voice is awesome.
  • Drumming Song, Florence and the Machine-I have lots of F&TM on all of my playlists lately. Good lyrics, lots of drums, powerful stuff.
  • Yamaha, Delta Spirit-Good for a cool down or for a break between all the crazy fast-paced songs. Still keeps you moving though!
  • Touched, VAST-An old favorite of mine, another good “forget you are working so hard” kind of song. Pretty.
  • Tigerlily, La Roux-Catchy and intense
  • Jerome, Lykke Li-Another drum-heavy song that is just super fun to run to.
  • Land of Confusion, Genesis-80’s awesomeness, one of my favorite songs as a little kid and still a favorite now.
  • Radioactive, Imagine Dragons-I wish all Imagine Dragons songs sounded like this one. Love!

Alright enough stalling, I’m off to see how far my legs can carry me! Happy Sunday!!

Shots and burgers

I got a letter in the mail a couple weeks ago to remind us that Jack’s license was due for renewal and we had to get him his 2 year rabies vaccine. We haven’t had the time to take him to get his shots but decided this was the weekend. it also happens that today is our one year anniversary of bringing our boy home from the pound!

Here’s me trying to get a kiss from him before we left. He could sense impending doom, I think. Image

We ended up taking him back to that very place to get his shots today, and we were wondering if he would remember that place. I am not sure if he did, but all the smells and other dogs really freaked him out a bit.

You can see a little bit of fear in his eyes. Poor Jacky. ImageHe barked and shrieked a little at the other dogs that were all around, but once he met them he calmed down and behaved. ImageThere were some friendly dogs around, but mostly scared ones. The couple in front of us had a little dachshund and a really pretty black lab mix, and she was so nervous. She kept hiding under her dad’s arm, poor thing. There was also a beautiful and huge golden retriever being adopted by a nice mexican lady, waiting in line behind us. Jack gave the golden a nice kiss on the nose. I was proud of my boy. ImageIt was finally our turn and jack got his shots on the little carpet outside the clinic. It happened really fast but he didn’t squirm away or yelp, just tensed up a little but then it was over.

But for being so good, we decided a trip through the McDonald’s drive through was in order. We got him a plain hamburger and I think all thoughts of needles were erased from his mind.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageI hope he’s had a good first year here with us. I never thought I would be one of those people that talks about their dog like he’s a person, but he is our little man! He’s brought so much fun and joy into our house, and I’m forever grateful that I happened to stop by the shelter that day last August.

Now Jack is telling his cats all about his big ordeal and the yummy burger that followed. sorry to interrupt, guys!!

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Smiling

It is Friday. Fridays are always neat-o. So to celebrate, here is a list of things that have made me smile this week. Smiling’s my favorite.

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  • Running. I have never been athletic in my entire life. I’ve never even wanted to be. But something lately has inspired me to work up to running, and I can see why it’s addictive. I have been slowly increasing my time, and thanks to lots of helpful pinterest advice and tips, I’ve improved how I’m running as well. I’ve been dealing with shin splints again though so that’s giving me some trouble, but I’m working through it anyway and it feels really good. Especially after I stop running and I can hardly breathe and my lungs hurt. It’s a good hurt, like they are expanding. I like it.
  • Loki took over Comicon for a minute. Loki was the best part of ‘Thor’, which I didn’t really like too much otherwise and a big part of ‘The Avengers’ which I loved. So this video just makes my day! It’s also awesome any time actors do cool things like this for their fans. Plus my husband and I have been debating Loki’s hotness. I think I win with a vote for “hot”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48DRGDiKo2U 

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  • Another Comicon item-Jennifer Lawrence being completely star-struck meeting Jeff Bridges. So adorable. She is just the coolest. I am so glad that she seems to be having the time of her life with all the fame she’s having. I rarely see a picture of her not smiling, especially in interviews and fan events.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcAikYUSCGI

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  • Finally planning our honeymoon! Kane and I have been married for four years already and we’ve yet to take our honeymoon. At this point I don’t even know if we should call it that but whatever, I’m excited! We are going to an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for four nights. Yes, it isn’t a very long time, but money being a factor we have to keep it on the cheap. But I am so excited to travel to an actual destination together, not to visit family or friends, just to go and just spend time together with lots of drinks and sun and the beach. Ahhhh. Sounds like heaven!!

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  • The soundtrack to Warm Bodies. I like almost every song on it, and I LOVED the movie and the book. Good stuff, people. Check it out.

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  • This picture: babies

Have an awesome weekend everyone! Back to frowning on Monday!

Jaba the Cat-Owner

How can it be Monday already? I demand an answer, and another day for me to crawl into my bed with the freshly-laundered sheets where two soft and sweet little cats and a shiny black cuddle-monster of a dog await to snuggle me off to a long and dreamy afternoon nap.

Instead, I sit at my desk, waiting for an email or call to give me something to do, as I chew my nails and watch the clock.

I’ve been on a roll lately at home, creative-wise. Coming to work is necessary and as much as I love coming in and hanging out with my coworkers (I really do, that’s not sarcasm), I’ve been in the zone with crafting and all I want to do is keep that ball rolling.

In other news, I  won two free movie tickets for my entry in the “Cats In Bikinis” MS Paint drawing contest here at work! Here is my entry:

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Please note the semi-accurate depiction of Princess Leia’s bikini and the Millenium Falcon. I worked harder on this than I should have, probably. MS Paint is hard to draw in so I didn’t get the expression on the cat that I was going for. But still, I won!! I’m using my free tickets tonight to see “Pacific Rim”.

Anyway, that’s about all that is happening in my life right now. Oh, and today the Royal baby was born. It was a boy, no name yet. It’s big news that a lot of people care about for some reason. So there you go.

Advanced Squirrel Repair

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Jack loves to destroy his toys. And by destroy, I mean he completely removes all traces of stuffing, chews any squeakers into tiny plastic bits, removes any limbs/ears/tails, and then turns whatever is left inside out. It is at this stage that he is usually “done” with the toy. This entire process takes about a week, maybe two if the toy is particularly well-made. His previous favorite sheep toy is currently abandoned on my office floor, earless, missing two legs and completely turned inside out. Poor little sheep!

His current favorite toy is a muslin squirrel with a soft bushy tail. I found it on clearance on an end-cap at Target for $1.50, and sensing he was near the end of playtime with his sheep, I picked it up for him. Turns out this squirrel is surprisingly well made. Jack has had it for a good two weeks now and only JUST broke through the stitching this past weekend. I caught it in the early stages, before he got all of the stuffing and the squeaker out, so I did some squirrel-surgery on him. I am determined to make this little guy last a bit longer! As you can see, his ear has been removed, but most of the head was still salvagable. Since I took the picture above, he has now lost his little front paw, so I have stitched that hole shut too.

Jack is completely confused by this. This is the squirrel that will not DIE! I’m hoping to get another week out of this poor creature, but Jack might have other plans….

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Check yoself

Well I’ve fallen off the wagon with my good eating habits. Again. But not surprisingly so.

It’s not that I have forgotten my goals, but the entire month of June is like a non-stop birthday party between my sister’s, my husband’s and my own birthday. Plus there were bbq’s and father’s day and about a million calories at every turn.

It’s okay though, I am back on the wagon, and I’m re-energized! Today I went on a produce-buying spree and planned meals for the entire week, most of which are meatless and (mostly) low carb! However buying all of the stuff was just part 1. Part 2 was preparing as much as I could in advance, because I always seem to be short on time in the mornings to make lunches and if dinners aren’t already prepared, it can derail my gym time.

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First up were greek veggie wraps. Spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and hummus on a sun dried tomato wrap. Yummm. I cannot wait to eat this tomorrow. I made an extra for my husband too!

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I also packed myself a few cold-brew peach tea bags. I am in love with those things. You can add one to a glass of cold water and in about 5 minutes you have freshly brewed sugar-free iced tea. So delicious, and a great way to avoid sugary soda.

I also made spinach quiche cups using fat free cheddar cheese, eggs, spinach, shallots and mushrooms.

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The recipes was found here. So easy and quick, I literally just mixed all the ingredients together and poured it into a mini muffin pan and popped them in the oven. That was it, no precooking necessary.

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I took them out of the oven to let them cool, but I had to try one. Holy blarg these are so damn good! Since the recipe made 22 of them total, I went ahead and ate a second one, just to make my batch a nice even number (wink), and divided them into ziploc bags to grab on my way out the door in the morning. I think these will be awesome cold, or even warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.

I also made some homemade creamy pesto using lowfat ricotta cheese in place of much of the oil and the pine nuts. It’s delicious on some whole wheat pasta, which I also made tonight to have another lunch ready to go. Tomorrow I’ll be making grilled turkey breast with the pesto pasta on the side, should be quick and yummy too.

So far so good. If I can just spend an hour every few days preparing my meals, I think this will be pretty easy!

Pinterest Fails

So you guys know I love Pinterest, right? I mean, the subject of my last post was based on just one of the many amazing ideas I had gotten from pinterest.

That being said, there are some things that pop up on there that are just kind of ridiculous, even to me, the girl who once hand-painted a 2″ flower pot with teensy tiny skeletons and shaded all their little bones with grey paint. I’ve saved a few pins that made me laugh or bewildered me, such as….

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Quotes that make no sense or have a completely needy-BS feeling that they convey. I see these all day long on there. Stuff like, “Realizing you don’t miss the person, you miss the memories…” just makes me roll my eyes to no one in particular. Unless you have alzheimer’s, you still have those memories. They are memories. You remember them, even as you photoshop words over a soft-focus background. The one above means you should love everyone, but all I get from that is an image of a sad teen girl with low self-esteem, trying to make excuses for loving a friend or boyfriend who treats her like crap. In soft focus.

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“EASY” tutorials like the one above. To use the overused meme above, ain’t nobody got time for that. Speaking of ain’t nobody got time…..

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This one above had a note of “easy nail tutorial”. Really? I mean, come on really? If that’s easy I’ll eat my own weight in butter substitute. But that might cause cellulite……

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Are girls out there really worried about this amount of cellulite? Are we making people neurotic about their bodies with images like this as the “before” picture? Because I can show you more dimples than Shirley Temple on these thighs, and I am not about to cry over it. This one was from a pin marked “DIY Cellulite remedies”. Step one: get actual cellulite.

red lipstick

Lastly and probably my most hated one, “How to apply red lipstick”. Sweetheart, if you need a tutorial to smear your mouth with lipstick, there isn’t much hope for you out there in this world. Maybe focus on other stuff, like reading books and your education, because you are going to need that out there in this big scary world if you can’t figure out lipstick. The name in itself is a tutorial.

Ok, this was a snarky post I admit, but I just had to rant a bit! Rant over.

Now back to pinning pretty clothes and house ideas…….