Summer “Book” List

With Memorial Day weekend come and gone and the fact that it’s JUNE (what?!) slowly sinking in, I think it’s officially safe to throw around the term “summer”. Growing up summer meant book lists and library trips and signing up for the reading program (yes, I was that child), but I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm for books. So although my summer book list of 2017 will surface at some point, I thought a summer “no books allowed” list might be fun. Read More

Radical Generosity & Radical Exhaling

My yoga teacher was telling us about breath. How important it is, bla bla bla. When people (cough yoga teachers cough) talk about breathing, I tend to zone out. Yes, I’ve managed to learn that skill by now, thanks.

But I’ve been learning just how important proper breathing is. Just how important it is to exhale into some poses, inhale into others. How important it is to connect with your breath, to focus on your breath, to make sure you’re breathing into certain areas of your body.

She was talking about exhaling all your air out, for your body will naturally fill itself back up. This struck me in the way that simple facts that you should already know can be completely and utterly mind blowing. I don’t like to exhale everything out, I don’t like to go that deep. I don’t like to give it all up. I feel much more in control when I keep some, just a little, tucked away for safe keeping. I’m a planner! This in my in-case-of-emergency air.

But its only when we fully release, that we fully fill back up. Read More

We Celebrate

There were four glasses on the table. In the middle, one plate with dessert; four spoons pointing in different directions. It was a night for celebrating, but such a different kind of celebration than we’re used to.

These are the people I spend birthdays with. If we all happen to be in town, the ones who create a make-shift family to spend holidays and special occasions. The ones who are family. The ones who get together for new jobs, promotions, or other exciting life events. The top of the list people for exciting news. I was part of both of their proposal stories; I stood in both of their weddings. These are the people who I celebrate with.

Not only that, but I am all about celebrating. I love birthdays. (Specifically, I love shopping for birthday presents.) I love anniversaries of random events. I love all those crazy national holidays that aren’t real holidays. I love a good theme party more than any grown up should. Read More

An In-Depth Analysis of 13 Reasons Why

Warning: this post contains ALL the spoilers. Also, like 13 Reasons Why, may be triggering for some people.

Within the last 2 weeks, I’ve both read the novel 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and binged the new Netflix series of the same name – which I think puts me in a minority. The few people I know who have read the book have done so years ago, compared to the multitudes watching the show right now. I’ve been reading article after article discussing the series – which is fair considering most people will only watch the show – but I think it unfairly lumps the author in with the producers.  As someone who read the novel so close to viewing the show, I’m not only frustrated with how they handled an otherwise good story, but also baffled how they twisted it so far wrong. Read More

What I’ve Been Learning About Advocacy

It’s currently April, which means I’m wearing red lipstick every day. Taking a stand for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is always a little scary and a little vulnerable – but also, I believe, very needed. I’ve always loved Red My Lips simple but profound mission, and this is my third year participating. (I’ve blogged about it before, or you can visit their site!)

The tone around the issue has changed a lot. I’ve been able to have more conversations than ever about consent, about abuse, and about assault. Conversations that need to be had, for sure, but are usually quiet, closed door, one on one conversations. I wonder if people are simply more aware these days or more willing to talk about things they see discussed so often in media (shout out to Brock Turner and Donald Trump). I also wonder if I’ve became known, in my circle, for caring about these things. For knowing a bit more than the average people about statistics and laws and the like. Whatever the reason, I’m seeing real change take root in people’s minds and real awareness being born, 3 years after I picked up some red lipstick. Read More

Whole30 & Whole Souls

I’m really not the latest food craze kind of person. Back when I really, truly became gluten intolerant (PTL Jesus heals), I hated feeling like another dumb white girl refusing to eat gluten to lose 5 pounds. I realize not everyone who doesn’t eat gluten is like that, but it was back during the height of the fad when people thought cutting out gluten was the new cutting carbs and kale hadn’t yet become queen of all things healthy.

I kept hearing about this Whole30 nonsense and I admit I was intrigued. (For those of you who don’t know, its a 30 day cleanse of dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, and a handful of other things.) I found out it was a “diet” where you can eat as many avocados as you want. And steak. And sweet potatoes. Um, what? You had me at “bacon”, Whole30. Read More

Mike Pence, Billy Graham & Dinner Dates

Last week, Billy Graham was being talked about on Twitter so often it could have been mistaken for the Bible belt in the ’50s. An article resurfaced the fact that Vice President Pence adheres to the so called “Billy Graham Rule” and doesn’t dine alone with any woman who isn’t his wife. [The official rule, per Graham, is “to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion … I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife” and is actually one of four rules – NPR did an interesting, short write up.]

I was surprised to see the various takes on the issue, surprised at how many friends I disagreed with. My friend Matt’s, in particular, interested me – we usually see eye to eye on a lot of things, I respect his ideas and how he gets to them, we were even co-panelists at the Donuts & Dating event a while back. I asked if he, a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, would be interested in co-blogging with me on the issue. He promptly responded with:

Read More

Why Beauty and the Beast Gives Me Hope, as a Feminist

I’m (one of the millions of people who are) a bit obsessed with Beauty and the Beast. I’m (one of the millions of people who are) a bit obsessed with Emma Watson. When I heard it broke 5 box office records opening weekend, that Emma is now in two of the top 10 films ever, it made my heart happy. So well deserved. Such a needed thing in our world today – both a beautiful, magical story with good morals and a kickass female in center stage.

I’ve always loved Beauty and the Beast. Do I need to tell you what you already know? The amazing soundtrack. The stark difference of Belle to other Disney princesses. THAT LIBRARY. The gentle reminder to not take people at face value. I don’t need to convince you of the story’s brilliance. Not everyone is a Disney princess fan, but I have yet to meet someone who didn’t enjoy Beauty and the Beast growing up.

But I re-watched the original this past weekend in preparation for the new one (highly suggest doing so!) – and I was surprised. Surprised at how hopeful both movies made me. I knew I loved the movie, the characters, the music. I knew I was going to love the new one because, let’s be real, Emma Watson can do no wrong. I knew all of this and yet I was still blown away. Read More

Springing Forward: Book List

We’re three whole months into the new year now (…too late to still be calling it “new”? Let me know), so I figured a book list was in order. We also just lost an hour of sleep this weekend – YAY SPRING – so clearly we could all use a reason to smile.

Life has been a bit crazy for me at the moment (luckily with mostly exciting things!), so I haven’t been able to attack my ever growing reading list as much as I’d like. Is anyone else’s book shelves newly crammed with Christmas-gift books, best-of-last-year’s books, and this-year-I’ll-read-more!!!!!So-I-can-buy-these books? Just me? Read More

Here’s to the Women

Last year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, I asked a few questions I was confused about (…still am pretty confused about, to be honest). This year I thought I would do the same – and I had a working list of some funny, some serious, some sad issues I had questions about.

But this week has been a heavy one. This year, as a whole, is just so different than years past. I could go on a rant about the state of women, I could go on and on about the sexism – big and small – that is part of our everyday. Women are forced to live in a world that doesn’t value our lives equally, doesn’t educate us at the same rates, and doesn’t pay us the same for the same work. And those are statistical facts, not opinions. I could write about that. I could. Read More