DIY

DIY the common acronym for, well, ‘Do(ing) It Yourself’ has become immensely popular with sites like Pinterest and all the various blogs out there. However, they are not the only ones encouraging you to take matters into your own hands. Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a ruling on whether or not Hobby Lobby should have to comply with the full extent of Obamacare and supply all types of birth control. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby- leaving you to find certain birth control coverage yourself.

Opinions on both sides of the spectrum take form in comics from various artists. Found by a Google search of "hobby lobby cartoons".
Opinions on both sides of the spectrum take form in comics from various artists. Found by doing a Google search of “hobby lobby cartoons”.

I’m going to start with what was my closing paragraph because I think it makes a good disclaimer before you start reading the rest of this. So here goes: These opinions aren’t God’s- they’re mine. They are what I think, and where I am in my faith. They are what I think is right, and how I interpret the Bible- years and years after it’s writing- and the invention of birth control. I think God didn’t comment on every single hot topic that would come up in the future because he gave us enough sense, and the ability to discern what’s right- and that should be enough. And, just like you and I have the choice to work at Hobby Lobby or not based on their convictions, and they have a choice of whether to offer certain types birth control as a benefit based on their convictions. They also have a choice on how literally they will take the Bible, and how they will portray it. Just as much as I do- and this is my belief.

I have mixed feelings on the situation. I love Hobby Lobby, let me just get that out there. You send me in there with lots of time and dangerous things happen. I come out as the crazy craft lady.
However, on a broader & larger scale I feel conflicted.

I think any company, especially a family owned one should be able to hold and express their views- even or especially when it comes down to how they conduct their business. I don’t like going to Wal-Mart because I have heard of (hearsay- I have not done extensive research so please don’t try to recite 100 facts to me about how great they are- I can’t do the same in return) the negative effects it has on the economy, it’s workers, and the like. However, I’m not trying to bust down the Walton’s door to tell them they should be doing a better job. I simply do not shop there. I think the free market should be respected, and part of that falls into a company choosing how they conduct their business. Except for the common set of standards (i.e. not ripping people off, doing illegal things, monopoly, etc.)- the government shouldn’t be able to control all aspects of a company. You wouldn’t walk into a vegan restaurant and order a bacon cheeseburger and demand they serve it to you because it’s your right to eat meat. Just like you probably wouldn’t go into Hobby Lobby for a job if you want certain types of birth control coverage because it’s your right. I don’t think the decision of how Hobby Lobby chooses to run their company should specifically be based on a religious argument- but also an argument of this- they are an independent company that the government should not be able to enforce or control them (unless of course they are doing the things I listed above and being scammy).

HOWEVER (again). I take issue with Hobby Lobby and this whole debate, long before it turns into a Supreme Court case and sociological fodder for every feminist and church goer alike. I hesitate to say I am a Christian because I think that that is a term which has been sullied by things like this. But I am. I believe in God, and heaven, and hell, and sins, and forgiveness. I also believe God gave us some sense, and logic, and reasoning to employ- not just to have. YES, the Bible does say “Go forth and multiply...” however, if you read it within context- God is saying that in the Garden of Eden (a place of perfection, at this point) as a blessing. In the very next verse he is listing off all the provisions the Garden of Eden has for them. They weren’t exactly having to worry about how to pay the electric bill. If we continue reading Eve goes and makes a mess of things, and Adam isn’t much help and then world changes from there. Part of that change is the fact that they now have to work, the world is no longer a perfect place, and Eve basically cursed all us ladies with periods and menopause and all things gross and awkward about being a woman (at least I’m blaming her for it). However, God still wants them to multiply- otherwise all His handiwork would end there.

So now, lots and lots of years later- we have fancy magic that can prevent us from having children when we are not prepared because we live in an imperfect world and can’t just pop out 96 kids at any time like the Duggars. I believe this is where God expects us to use some sense. If you can barely afford to feed yourself- probably don’t have kids. If you know you are too impatient, immature, and selfish to have kids- probably don’t have kids. At least not yet. While Hobby Lobby isn’t trying to ban all birth control- they are trying to ban some in the name of Christianity and classic values. I do not think abortion and birth control are the same thing. I do not think the morning after pill is an abortion. I do not think birth control is a sin. This being said, it pains me to see a company with such exposure, standing behind faith and Christianity, take the national spotlight and do a poor job at explaining the differences between those things.

Ultimately- my beef isn’t about why or if they should or should not have to pay for specific types of birth control. If you are a person that is trying to family plan or simply not trying to get pregnant, note the fact that Hobby Lobby probably isn’t the place for you to be working. You have a choice, choose to work somewhere else. I don’t think the solution is forcing a group or company to do or not do something. They, just like you should be afforded a choice. Yours is if you want to work there, and theirs is the extent of the benefits they want to offer.

This ultimately, is an argument that opens a bunch of debate because Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to provide the morning after pill and IUD’s (for those of you who don’t know the differences between these things and ‘the pill’ it’s simply that they prevent pregnancy after an egg is fertilized, where the pill prevents eggs from being fertilized in the first place). So- this then opens the argument- when is a person a person- and that is simply an argument this post doesn’t have time to address. I will simply reiterate what I said above: I do not think abortion and birth control are the same thing. I do not think the morning after pill is an abortion. I do not think birth control is a sin.

In the end, I think people are getting all sorts of worked up over a company “who won’t offer birth control”- which isn’t really the case. I myself, had to dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of things, because after seeing all these tweets about women’s rights being taken away, I was a little fired up. After taking a closer look- women’s right’s are there just as much as the Green’s rights.

 

The good news news

I have two thoughts today.
First, I’m so tired of seeing things like this on the internet:

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That is NOT a beauty hack- that’s food or what I would call a “non-stick hack”. Don’t put food on your body just because it contains coconut/coconut oil (unless you plan on laying in the sun and baking a batch of brownies on yourself- I don’t wanna hear about it). It’s food, you put it in your mouth- and not to do this trendy ‘oil pulling’ nonsense. STOP freaking out over this stuff. It’s weird. #endrant


Now in other news. I always complain about how ‘the news’ is always ‘bad news’- so in honor of the first Friday of summer- I present you with ‘the good news news’. My pick of some of the week’s top heartwarming, happy news stories.

First up, an actress I so much love. Amy Adams was flying from Detroit to LA today (yes, I’m cutting edge over here- fresh off the press news right here). Anyways, she noticed a soldier sitting in coach and gave up her first class seat for him. I am always such a sucker for those soldiers returning from deployment or getting a standing O at the airport type stories so this was right up my alley. For the full story click here.

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Second: Some of you may recall the story from a few months back about the MSU Basketball player Adreian Payne who made friends with a little girl named Lacey Holsworth, a little MSU fan who was suffering from a very serious form of cancer. She attended many of his games, he invited her to his senior night, and she even cut the nets down when MSU won the Big Ten. She died shortly after that. The story in itself is a sad- but incredibly moving and you can’t help but smile when you see that little girl’s face. However, last night at the NBA draft- the suit Adreian wore was commemorative of Lacey. With a pink lining, and her name embroidered into it. Even after her passing, he is honoring her memory. For more on this story, click the links.

NBA: NBA Draft

On Monday, a 91 year old WWII vet graduated high school because she had dropped out to serve in the war. Talk about dedication!

There’s speculation around Cristiano Ronaldo’s hairstyle during the World Cup games- it was/wasn’t for a young fan who had a surgery scar on his head. But regardless of that (while I’d like to think it’s true) Ronaldo has offered to pay for one of the boy’s surgeries which costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $70k. So haircut tribute or not, I call it a win.

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This was last week- but I still like the story so I’m going with it. An ex-felon who served 10 years in prison for producing cocaine saved a baby! A 15 month old girl crawled 300 yards from her home (how does THAT happen I want to know…but this is good news news, so I’ll stay focused). That little nugget was just about to crawl on the expressway when Bryant Collins scooped her up, and played her some gospel music until the police came.  Hip hip hooray for saving babies and not making drugs!!!

And there’s your good news news for the week! Happy Friday!!

 

#TBT

I figured today on the blog we could do a little installment of ‘Throwback Thursday’. Where I tell you some embarrassing and silly stuff about me in times past.

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Let’s begin with this:

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Yup- that’s me. In my favorite cat sweater. Apparently, back in the day somewhere I used to like cats. Like them so much so, I wanted them on my sweaters. With polka dots and glitter bling. You’re jealous- I know.

Here’s some more #tbt stuff for you:

  • I know I mentioned this somewhere on here before- but I used to think it was called ‘Noah’s Zark’. And the ‘Heimlich Remover’ (ps- this makes sense, you are REMOVING something after all, hopefully you are anyways).
  • My first CD was C+C Music Factory, which my sister bribed me to do her chores for.
  • I used to watch Bob Ross on channel 11 after cartoons ended, and if you say you didn’t ever do this you’re a liar.

mistake lets make them birds

  • I saw ‘Scream’ and ‘Copycat’ when I was too young and would always check under bathroom stalls in public bathrooms for bathroom creepers. I may or may not still do this from time to time. 
  • My OLDER sister used to break into my diary and threaten that she was going to tell my crushes I liked them. I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be my job…
  • All of my older sisters also told me I was adopted. I would then go ask my dad and he would say I wasn’t. I’d go back to them all smug- ‘Dad told me the truth- I know I’m not adopted’. To which they would respond; “He just doesn’t want to tell you the truth so your feelings won’t be hurt”. Identity crisis ensued.
  • I used to beg, plead, and demand that the dentist give me braces because I thought they were so cool.
  • My first AIM screen name was ~*princessgrl31*~ (OHHH YEA- I’m contemplating going back to that one).
  • I read the entire Nancy Drew series. Forget that Babysitter’s Club nonsense. I had real problems to solve. Missing jewels n’ shit.
  • My dad used to tell me aliens ‘laid their eggs’ in asphalt chunks that broke off the side of the road. He would point to tiny pebbles and tell me if I picked them out and saved them, they would hatch and I would have  a baby alien. He called them ‘Jujubabies’. After about 3 weeks of watching these damn pebbles in a jar I asked him why they hadn’t hatched yet and he told me to keep waiting. GOD I WAS SO GULLIBLE.

That’s it for this installment of #tbt.

Let’s hear some of your Throwback moments- tell me I was not the only paranoid, gullible, “adopted” child!

Busy Busy Bee

So hey, it was 70+ degrees on Saturday and now there’s snow on the ground. That’s pretty cool.

NOT.

Seriously Mother Nature has no regard for my emotions. Like at all. I can’t do this anymore. Even my snow scraper gave up on winter this morning.

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Now, for me to explain my absence on this here blog. I have been seriously researching going back to school to further my education student loan debt.  Which has taken up a lot more of my time than I would have liked. Also, it’s my ‘busy’ time of year at work which between both of those things makes my days actually full at work.

I promise to try to be a better blogger from here!

I thought today I would talk about those books I told you I would review back in, oh you know- DECEMBER. Let me explain- it took me much longer to get through them than I’d like to admit and I returned some before even finishing. *SHAME ON ME* (I know).

Numero Uno- The Gods of Gotham- It was good. I’d give it 3.5 of 5 stars. It was long, and very detailed- ideal for the history buffs out there. What I gathered from the introduction is the author did a lot of historical research for the book- down to geographical layouts of New York at the time, and the slang which was used. The story was intriguing and well written- although maybe dragged on a little in places. When I explained the story to my husband he mentioned that it seemed similar to the movie Gangs of New York- which in a lot of ways it was. If you’re into history and like to have all the details and like a good mystery this one’s for you.

Let’s Pretend This Never HappenedI read about 1.5 chapters and had to return it. I read The Bloggess online and she’s really funny. But the book was too scattered for me. It jumped from thought to thought and was just too much to keep up with. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I did laugh out  loud a couple times though- so there’s that. Maybe I’ll try it as like a vacation beach read or something.

Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist ChurchI liked this book a lot. I haven’t read many Memoir type books but this one was good. It was written in a conversational tone, without making things too casual. You definitely get emotionally involved (unless you have no soul-sort of just kidding) in what’s going on and by the end if you’re like me- you might bawl a bit.

Girls in White DressesI also returned this one (We’re 2 for 2 here- kind of embarrassing). I just didn’t have time to read it before it was due, and it wasn’t as high on my list of things I wanted to get through as the others were. I will most likely go back for it.

Also- if you haven’t read the Divergent books yet- go do it. They’re set in Chicago so you kind of have to love them just because of that. And if you saw the movie, then you automatically know Theo James, I mean Four, I mean Tobias Eaton is GORGEOUS. So there’s that too.  I MEAN COME ON, LOOK AT THIS!

theo-james-comic-con-international-2013_3770457(HOW are his teeth SO white?!)

Now I am on to Adulting, which I had started and then put down in place of the Divergent series.

If you don’t follow me on Goodreads yet, you can (just click that there link) for more of this type of nonsense.

Are you in the middle of reading anything these days? Just finish something great? Share in the comments!

Well, Happy Tuesday kids!

Style in the City- Little Goat

So guys I’m pretty excited about a new collab with Jalpa over at Samosa Pop (pop over there to see her post as well!). We are calling it “Style in the City”- each month we will go try out a new restaurant, bar, coffee shop, etc. and post about our experience there, and what we wore. Because honestly, who really needs an excuse to get dressed up and go out to eat…well, maybe sometimes me. Ha!   Anyways, without further ado- here is our first month!

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picstitch (1) Little Goat Diner is a more relaxed (and breakfast-y) spin off of Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat. Located in the West Loop, with a complete diner look- sans the campy red glitter vinyl booths-this place is equal parts gourmet, casual, and classic. With the trademark surprising-yet-makes-sense menu items such as Bull’s Eye French Toast (Sweet Onion Brioche, crispy chicken, and a BBQ maple syrup) and Tiramisu milkshakes- this place has something for everyone. They had Mac & Cheese on the menu so of course I had to have it. Jalpa and I split it as an app, and it was very good- crunchy topping, and plenty of cheesey gooeyness. picstitch (2) I was torn between the french toast (mentioned above), the fried chicken dinner, and the meat ravioli. I took our server’s (Jeremy, who did a great job!) advise and went for the fried chicken dinner (Also the pricier of the three- I see what you did there, Jeremy- I’m a server too!). Not to say the meal wasn’t worth every penny- a breast, leg, and wing, with a scoop of some seriously awesome mashed potatoes and gravy, with coleslaw, and a biscuit. The portions are huge- this is a photo of our plates- AFTER we finished. Hello, leftovers! picstitch (3) Now for the outfit. I went with something casual because I knew it wasn’t too fancy of a place,  that’s the only look I pull off well, because I was coming from work and I don’t usually go too crazy there. And like the awesome bloggers we are, we didn’t take any photos of our outfits- so I will explain/recreate them here. I wore medium/dark wash skinny jeans, with a chiffon tank and a neon yellow sweater over it with some studded combat boots. Something fun, a bit spring-y (because I SWEAR it HAS to be coming soon right?) and a few fun accessories.

Little Goat
Something similar to that. Here are a few more options for the tank top: here, here, or here. And more Sweater options: here and here.
Also, go out and get one of those Revlon Colorburst Balms because they are amazing.
Now, go visit Jalpa, and see what she had to say about her meal and outfit!
Until next month kids!
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Cheers!

Bossy & I know it, not afraid to show it.

Helllloooo there readers…any of them I have left, after all this erratic posting! I’m sorry. I just really don’t like writing just to put something up. I have to find something really moving or inspiring or something that fires me up to write. I know- so dramatic of me. I would just rather write about stuff that I think is cool or interesting, or think I would like to know/read about- rather than just tell you what I did over the weekend (no disrespect to any bloggers that like to do that, just not my cup of proverbial tea).

Anyways, I got something for you today. Cause it’s Friday, it’s going to be 60 today and well, I found something to annoy me enough to write about it.


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Now we will play a short round of Mad libs (with my own personal twist) to introduce today’s topic. Just pick one of the words in the parenthesis to fill in the blanks.
THIS DAMN BAN BOSSY ________ (campaign, load of crap) IS ________ (really really great, annoying) AND I’M GLAD IT DIDN’T (come off as whining, totally came off as whining and didn’t catch on too much). 

Let’s start with this. I know I’m a little late on the whole topic- everyone wore their shirts and tweeted their tweets last week sometime. But it just took  me a while to marinate before I decided how absolutely pathetic and useless this really was. If you haven’t read up on it, look here or here.

Ok- so Sheryl Sandberg (Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, went to Harvard, and was once the Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury) is all up in arms because one of her teachers in high school called her “bossy” and it hurt her feelings. I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that- but what it comes down to is she is, and probably always has been an empowered woman who got shit done. I don’t think there’s a need to apologize, be ashamed of it, or let critics call you a name because of it that hurts your feelings so deeply. Apparently someone stepped on her toes and she got mad and started a campaign. Because that’s what powerful people do. They campaign. Or at least that’s what it seems like from House of Cards.

I think there is a huge misconception here. I think people are forgetting a small detail. You know, that fact that there is a huge difference between being a leader and being bossy. Leaders motivate, inspire, and energize their team. And they look at their “workers” as that, a team. Bossy people suck the life out of people, demand, and are rarely satisfied. And look at their “workers” as peons. It’s the concept of micro-management, versus giving someone a job and letting them figure out how to get it done.

boss

Another flaw I find in this campaign is it’s posed as if the word “bossy” is gender specific. That boys are never, or can never be called “bossy”- instead they are viewed as leaders. Most people who have “Bosses” instead of “Leaders” (male or female) working over them-think their bosses are exactly that- bossy, jerks, arrogant, etc. And rightfully, so. The flaw is in the leadership, not the word.

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Overall, I just think this makes women as a whole look weak, whiny, and pathetic. Like we have such hurt feelings over what people say about us. Or that it truly attacks the foundation of our equality or something. I think there are two thoughts that should flow through our minds if we are referred to as “bossy”.
1) What am I doing wrong?
2) What am I doing right?
‘Cuz #hatersgunnahate- amiright?

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But instead Sheryl’s tactic is to start a campaign and get the Girl Scouts involved (And don’t tell me those Girl Scouts aren’t a little pushy when they’re peddling those Tagalongs outside the grocery store which you’re so desperately trying not to buy because you’ll eat the whole box in one sitting) anyways this campaign is centered around hurt feelings and how degrading a word is. A word that I (like most people) probably haven’t used since I was in the sandbox- and for those of us who haven’t caught up yet- it’s time to leave the sandbox. As for the young girls and future leaders she’s trying to impact- A) They don’t even care enough, and first chance some girl in middle school is mean to her- she’s going to call her bossy, or something worse. B) it’s part of growing up, you get picked on (note: getting picked on is different than being bullied) and it teaches you to have a thicker skin C) Lead by example. Don’t teach girls to complain over a word- teach them the essence of a better word so they won’t be called the negative word you dislike. AKA- RISE ABOVE IT.

no excuses

I mean, I’m not saying words don’t hurt or are never degrading- but come on…”bossy”? What gets me most is she’s quoted having said; “I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade,” Sandberg recalled. “My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”

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I would bet you ten bucks and a beer/shot combo that the teacher that said this- was a woman. And here in lies the biggest problem. I think more often than we’d like to admit- women are the ones playing the victim, and holding ourselves/each other back or pushing each other down. While I don’t neglect that women make 77¢ to a man’s dollar, and that women make up only 4.6% of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company CEO positions either. However, as unfortunate as it is, big things take big time- and I think women have just as much to learn about empowerment and empowering one another, as men do.

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I think equality is important, rather- imperative in our society, I just don’t think stomping out a word is how we achieve that. Women, fist-to-hip, tapping our toes, finger wagging, demanding people not call us bossy is the exact picture of bossy we are “fighting”.

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Instead- why not focus on building up and encouraging women who lead with strength, grace, tenacity, and energy. Instead of women who feel they have something to compensate for, who are everything you would both dread and expect them to be.

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Or, maybe for a minute- be proud someone called you bossy at all. Maybe you know what’s going on ahead of everyone else, and have the voice and courage to call it out- and make things happen. I don’t think bossy is always bad. It’s all in the delivery.

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d4302e51eb3bf26a3fa4de21ed6a6cef                             (I would just like to had three words to the end of this quote “or are becoming”)
Also, for a way better/longer version of this post- read Bossypants by Tina Fey. You can thank me later.

Spring is coming!!!

So it was great last week when it was 50 degrees and sunny and we were all happy- and then we got that fun little snow dusting a day later. I think winter is just trying to hold on for dear life and remind us that technically it’s still her reign for another week. #RUDE

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BUT just because the weather is absolutely bi-polar, let’s not let that stop us from enjoying some (maybe premature) excitement about it warming up, because Spring is coming, and so is something else- by the same name.

Spring is a new rewards program which keeps track of your rewards through your credit/debit card instead of having to print or remember to use your vouchers. Not to mention you won’t be that friend who is always whipping out the discount voucher when it’s time to pay, it’s a new more discreet way to get the discount you want, without looking like the crazy coupon lady in front of you at Jewel. If you have a reward for a certain place and you use the credit or debit card you have hooked up to your Spring account it will automatically give you the reward credit to your chosen debit/credit account. They have a pretty big list of participating retailers which I’m sure will keep expanding as it catches on as well.

My first reward with them is a $10 gift to Taverna 750 which I am very excited to use. I’ll be sure to do a follow up post with my review of Taverna and the Spring system. If you are curious about trying Spring out for yourself, the perfect time would be their March 20th pop up events around the city. If you’d like to see the list of participating vendors click here.

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And a big thanks to Chicago Blogger Network for setting this up!

 

Cuz what else would a blogger do at 3AM?!

You know when you wake up wide awake in the middle of the night you suddenly have the clearest train of thought ever: did I switch the laundry? Did I pay that bill? I should check my passport…I think it’s expired. You think of all the things your brain won’t let you remember during waking hours but seems to find extraordinarily important at 3 AM. Your to do list is steadily growing, and you might as well start on it now since you can’t sleep. Except that everyone else is tucked in and cozily dreaming like you should be.

Speaking of 3 AM- I’m not a very superstitious person, but when you wake up anywhere from 2:59:59-3:59:59 AM- it is automatically 25% more creepy. I mean come on, witching hour- have you ever watched any horror movie, ever? Next thing you know your mind wants to remind you of all things haunted/demon possessed, Chucky and his creepy ass laugh, the murderer that’s inevitably hiding in your shower- and why is that shadow over there moving towards me? Or how you can’t quite remember if you locked the front door. You break out in a cold sweat and start singing lullabies to yourself; “Jesus loves me…this I..”
Suddenly your spidey sense hearing kicks in- ‘What was that? Just the heat kicking on? No- it’s never that loud. Maybe just the wind? Right, ok- the wind.’ 45 seconds pass- “Ok, no but seriously-what was THAT?!’

Smash your eyes shut determined to sleep- after all the alarm is going to go off in what will feel like an hour. Then you’re sweating- literally, so off the blankets go- except for on your feet, those can’t be uncovered-the ghosts like drag you out of bed by your feet and if they’re covered they can’t (clearly- it’s like a rule or something). Then, .37 seconds later your leg is freezing. Back under the covers. And why does the cold side of the pillow not stay cold for as long as it takes to get cold again?

And now you’re realizing you’re uncomfortable so you roll over- but that’s not working either. Back the other way, eyes shut. Starting counting sheep, thinking about something boring and will yourself to fall asleep. Eventually, you get so annoyed you find yourself lowering the brightness on your iPhone screen because its about as bright as staring into the sun, and start writing a blog post- because what else should you do at 4:19 AM when you can’t sleep and there’s a murder in your shower, a ghost in the corner, and damn it- you know your passport’s expired.

To understand more of my predicament check this Buzzfeed article out. Or just be honest with yourself (and me) and tell me what lurks in your shower at 3 AM!

Or these:

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{Sweet Dreams tonight kiddos!}

And the Award Goes to…

Warning: This post is real long, anything in italics are transcripts of speeches which have the videos linked so you can watch them instead of read them, or read instead of watch. Your call.


Happy Day After the Oscars Day! While I thought most of the fashion was a total snooze fest (could there be any more nude/tan/cream beaded dresses in one place ever? Probably not, but a close second would be the “Misses” department at Lord & Taylor. I vote P!nk, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron, and Lupita Nyong’o (sans the headband) as best dressed. Honorary mention to Jlaw and Kate Hudson also.

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Not surprisingly, Ellen was incredible- I mean the woman got pizza delivered. You automatically win my vote if you get pizza involved in the situation. 

Best speeches hair speeches were Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Both of which have been criticized.

Which leads me to my whole shebang here (brace yourselves- I just jump right in).
We blame Hollywood for so much. For being fake, cynical, shallow and scandalous. And we love it (no matter how much we say we don’t we do- that’s why it is a multi-billion dollar industry). We subscribe to fashion magazines, follow our favorite celebrities on any and all social media outlets, and watch every second of footage on them- be it the in films, on the news, etc. Hollywood ends up as our scape-goat for our low self-esteem, our poor body image, for giving us false expectations about just about every aspect of life. For dehumanizing people, for manipulating situations or ideas, and working away at our moral fiber as a society.

But does art imitate life or vice versa (Oscar Wilde said:”Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”- I like that). As grown  adults can we honestly say that a stranger, which is just merely playing a role, and doing their job has affected us and our behavior? That someone we have never met has put such a mark on our lives that we will conduct ourselves differently from that moment forward?

I think the answer, whether we’d like to admit it or not is- yes.

We pick up trends- habits even, we start saying phrases (i.e. Yolo, “That’s what she said…” for example), and every once in a while our opinions can be swayed by a celebrity in or out of character. They sneak in ever so subtly and eventually shape a part of our sense of humor, turn of phase, and the way we respond to things.

Do I think this is all bad? No. I think art saves us, shapes us, and refreshes us. I think we desire to see other human experiences brought to life by strangers to know we aren’t alone. I think we liked to be moved by things that are outside of ourselves, and yet still so close.

And this is where I want to talk about Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech from last night. It.was.awesome.  Here’s the video and below is the text of it.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Show
“Thank you. Thank you to the academy for this — all 6000 members. Thank you to the other nominees. All these performances were impeccable, in my opinion; I didn’t see a false note anywhere. I want to thank ['Dallas Buyers Club' director] Jean-Marc Vallee, [co-stars] Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.”There are three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, ‘When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you.’”To my family, that’s who I look forward to, to my father, who I know is up there with a big pot of gumbo, and a lemon meringue pie, and he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing. To you, dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother, who is here tonight, who taught me and my two brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves, and what we in turn learned is then we were better able to respect others. To my wife, Camilla, and my kids, Levi, Vita, and Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud.”And to my hero, that’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life ask me who was my hero, and I said ‘I don’t know. I gotta think about that, give me a few weeks.’ And I come back two weeks later, and they said ‘Who’s your hero?’ and I said, ‘You know, I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years. So I turn 25 ten years later, and that same person asked me ‘Are you your hero?’ and I was like, ‘Not even close.’ And she said ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘My hero is me at 35.’ So every day, every week, every month, every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to attain that, I know I’m not. That keeps me the somebody to keep on chasing.

“So to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasin’, to that I say Amen. To that I say, all right, all right, all right. To that I say just keep livin’.”

I literally jumped off my couch with the “Alright, alright, alright”. And I loved this speech. I love the genuineness, the candor, and the humility he demonstrated. I’ve read a few articles criticizing him, saying his speech was rambling, confusing, self-centered, or arrogant. A number of people were angry he “brought God into it”. And to this I say- “I think you watched a different speech” or “You’re nuts”. Some people criticized how he “called himself is own hero”. I think there was an immense amount of wisdom to that sentiment- aren’t we all striving to be a better version of who we are?

better than

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONCE in a while, when the veneer of Hollywood’s glamour and glitz starts to crack it is incredibly refreshing to see the humanness below the surface. If Mr. McSexy McConaughey wants to thank/mention God, his family, and his deceased father in his speech- well I’ll be damned, have at it. Because everyone- even Celebs are allowed to be, and should be much more welcomed to be human for a minute. If at the pinnacle of his career- he wants to spend three minutes thanking those who have got him where he is, I think he should. A la Richard Sherman and his championship post-game freak out- which everyone heavily criticized (including myself, until I read up on it a little more).

Overall, I think we spend so long idolizing these people as “stars” and rob them of the humanness they deserve (PS- this is not a “I feel sorry for famous people” post, just hear me out). Like all the people who criticized J-Law’s [second] Oscars fall as a publicity stunt or play to get attention. And to those people I say- “Why so cynical?”. So what she has two left feet?  I.love.it.

I love Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the Teen Choice Awards from late last year.

“Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t getta do any of the things I getta do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

(PS- why is he saying “getta”- must be an Iowa thing)

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life. 
So first opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
Number two. Being sexy. The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

Thank God for a man in Hollywood addressing sex appeal (and it has nothing to do with appearance), hard work, and humility.

I love Seth Rogen for his speech at a Congressional Hearing earlier last week about Alzheimers- which is incredibly personal and hilarious.

SETH ROGEN: “Thank you very much for having me, Mr. Chairman, ranking member [Jerry] Moran and the members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity for me to be called an expert in something, ’cause that’s cool. I don’t know if you know who I am at all — you told me you never saw ‘Knocked Up,’ Chairman, so [spectators laugh] it’s a little insulting.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know …”
SETH ROGEN: “It’s very important, guys.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know, this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words ‘Knocked Up’ have ever been used.”
SETH ROGEN: [Laughs] “Oy. You’re not gonna like the rest of this, then. [Senators laugh] First, I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking — yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”
“I started dating my wife Lauren nine years ago when her mother was almost 54 years old. The first time I met her parents, being the mensch (Yiddish word for “person of integrity) that I am, I was excited to spend time with them and make Lauren thing I was the type of guy she should continue dating. It was this trip, the first time I met my now-mother-in-law, that Lauren first admitted to herself and then to me that something was off with her mother.”
“I guess the clues were, unfortunately, easy to spot since both of Lauren’s mother’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease. Soon after this trip, at 55 years old, Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.”
“Now, at this point, my impression of Alzheimer’s was probably was I assume most people’s impression is — I thought it was something only, like, really, really old people got and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over. This period, which was the only way I’d seen Alzheimer’s displayed in movies or television, lasted a few years for Lauren’s mom. After that, however, is when I saw the real, ugly truth of the disease.”
“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself — all by the age of 60. Lauren’s father and a team of caregivers dedicate their lives to letting my mother-in-law be as comfortable as she can be. They would love to do more but can’t because, as you’ve heard, unlike any of the other top 10 causes of death in America, there’s no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Another thing I didn’t realize until I was personally affected was the shame and stigma associated with the disease. It was before I was born, but I’m told of a time when cancer had a stigma that people were ashamed by. Celebrities and other public figures that were stricken would hide, rather than be voices of hope for people in similar situations, and although it’s turning, this is currently where we are largely at with Alzheimer’s disease, it seems like.”
“And it’s because of this lack of hope and shameful stigma that my wife, some friends and myself decided to actually try and do something to change the situation.”
“We started Hilarity For Charity. Hilarity For Charity is a fund we have, as a part of the Alzheimer’s Association, to raise money to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s and support cutting-edge research. That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization.”
“It was through this that we felt we weren’t just complaining there was nothing to be done, but actively taking steps to do something. Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality of the disease, we’ve started to educate them. We recently started a college program that allows university students to hold their own Hilary For Charity events, and in the months since it started, 18 schools nationwide had signed up to hold events.”
“The fact that we actually got college students to stop playing video games and volunteer their time is a huge accomplishment, especially considering both Xbox One and Playstation 4 came out this year — I’m sure these people know what I’m talking about [laughs].”
“I came here today for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge ‘House of Cards’ fan. [Senators laugh] Just marathoned the whole thing. Had to be here. Two, is to say people need more help. I’ve personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. Please don’t.”
“Therefore, I can’t begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. As you’ve also heard, studies show that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is the most costly condition in the United States. Yes, it’s more costly than heart disease in a country where, for $1.29, you can get a taco made out of Doritos. They’re delicious but they’re not healthy.”
“While deaths from other major diseases, like heart disease, HIV and strokes continue to decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased almost 70 percent in the last 15 years. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and at this rate, in 35 years, as many as 16 million will have the disease.”
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they’re not alone. So few people share their personal story, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone.”
“Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ and although a whisper is better than silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be. People look to their government for hope and I ask that when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, you continue to take more steps to provide some more. I would like to thank the committee again for the opportunity to share my story and to voice my whole-hearted support for the continuing work that pursues a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you very much.” [Applause]
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): [Clapping] “Thank you Mr. Rogen, that was great. That was very, very good. Thank you, thank you.”

 

And while I know there are so many celebs that do great humanitarian things- I love watching them in the limelight taking those moments to be human, to show support for causes, and to call people/organizations onto the red carpet.

And to answer your questions- no, I do not like Angelina Jolie- I don’t care how many starving babies she adopts. #homewrecker

And Bono gets on my nerves too. #takeyoursunglassesoff #youreinside

All of this to say- cheers to the shreds of beauty we find in Hollywood, celebrity, and fame.

And the award goes to…. calling it like it is.

#WCBC Shops LM

Today I’m writing my first ever ‘Fashion Post’ about a piece I bought at an event. Just an FYI- This is a sponsored post. I did/can receive compensation from Langford Market in exchange for blogging about the brand. However, all of this was inspired by true/real events

So do you remember last week before I crawled into a hole and disappeared from bloggy world how I talked about going to a shopping event at Langford Market with Windy City Blogger Collective?

So, here’s the scoop. I’m going to start this story with something funny- and somewhat embarrassing because that will make up for my awkward “modeling” photos later in this post.

So I got off work and was heading downtown to the shopping event which was in Lincoln Park. I knew the general area where the store was, but wasn’t 100% sure as I had never been. Welp, I just spoke to my trusted friend Siri- who I have become newly obsessed with since getting the new Iphone. I’ve never had a Siri before. Well, me and Siri are now in a fight because when I asked her to take me to Langford, she took me to what used to be Langford. Which now looks something like this: langarm

Actually, at 6 PM on a really cold night- it looks a lot less appealing. Especially after paying for parking, and trying to jump the giant snow mounds in flats (with no socks) to get to the meter box (AKA- parking highway robbery box). So basically, Siri betrayed me and we aren’t friends anymore. After some further research, I found the proper address and ended up at the right place.

Which, by the way- is a delightful little treasure. The event was a lot of fun, and I met a few very nice girls which is always a bonus!

P.S.- Major cred to all fashion bloggers out there for multiple reasons. First, I don’t know how you manage to take these adorable, not awkward photos outside in the middle of winter. I was freezing my lady parts off, and the wind was legitimately trying to blow me over. Also, what do you do with your hands?! Ugh, honestly, the most awkward experience being photographed alone. You probably won’t be seeing a ton of fashion posts from me.

ANNDD we’re back. I found this super cute jacket which I am now more obsessed with than Siri.

It’s pretty light weight, but still warm and cozy. I styled it four ways, because I was trying to think of two ways to do it- and as I was thinking of it more and more outfits came to mind that I could work it into. It’s super versatile. So- here’s goes.

outfit1This was my more casual approach- crop jeans, flats, and a simple black tee.  I paired it with gold accessories- which you can’t really see. Oops.

Looks Two:
outfit3
A bit dressier look. Everything under the jacket is Cabi (Carol Anderson by Invitation). If you need a consultant for Cabi, just click the link!
Shoes: Similar found here, here, here and here.

Look Three- AKA; My Favorite.
outfit2
I’m a casual girl through and through so this was right up my alley- except for the fact of course it’s not Spring (even though it should be!) and I was really cold.
Pictured: Skirt similar here & here, Similar-ish Tank, Button Down-here or here, Shoes.

And Look Four- Fancy Sauce:
outfit4
Similar: Dress 1 or Dress 1. Shoes: Here, here, or here.

Overall, this piece is great. It is super comfy, warm but not too heavy or thick and has some black detail on the shoulders which means you can wear it with just about any color! My only con with this piece would be the material seems a bit delicate so you have to watch out for snagging it or getting it caught on things. The shop itself had a ton of stuff for all different tastes- and everything was reasonably priced which makes life even better!

And that was how I was a model for a few hours. And it was weird.
Props to WCBC & Langford Market for hosting such a fun event. And of course, props to my one and only- who happens to be my photographer as well.

The End.