Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Merry Christmas...Where's the Tylenol?

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Is you house on fire, Clark?

"Its the most wonderful time of the year...." Do you ever feel yourself sing that in your head as you make your way through the holiday season? If you are like me it is like your mind is singing you this song in a sappy sarcastic way. You know you should be absorbing every ounce of joy this time of year brings. But, do you ever notice there is so much to do? My mind is, on a normal month, a cluttered mess of half thoughts. One day when I am long gone, I imagine the girls going through my stuff...notes, to dos, lists, agendas, etc..and wondering how I ever did it. I envy those who have something extra "Christmasy" they are good at. Are you one of those people who has exceptional outside lights. Do you have the perfect cookie recipe? Are you that person that throws the "can't miss" holiday bash every year? Gift wrapping..is that your forte? Maybe you are one of those people who have the coordinated decorations? I was thinking long and hard about this today. We began to prepare our house for Christmas. We cleared a space for the tree. (finally a great bare space for taking a few pictures!), and got the house ready for the decorations and traditions. The tree in one corner..the mini village on the end table, and of course our beautiful nativity scene on its mirror stand. I kept looking around wondering what my Christmas talent is. The time is so busy that I think I try to do everything without really excelling at anything.

Dear People with exceptional Christmas skills: How do you do it? My new theory is to pick one thing about the holidays you think you may be good at. (besides eating and drinking...)..and work on that the whole season. I want a Christmas skill! If today was any indication..I will be lucky to make it through the season alive...(dramatic font please). 

If I was a video game, I would have hit game-over right after lunch. I am still stressing about my pre-holiday weight gain. I started to track my calories and get a grip on the mess that will become my holiday eating patterns. Sometime this year, I stopped weighing myself. I used to obsess over the number on the scale. (There was the scale crushing incident of 2005......). I noticed on a given day..my weight would fluctuate up to three pounds. On a given week, the fluctuation would go to five to even eight pounds. There was my after morning trip to the bathroom weight..my after dinner weight, my before bed weight...it was an epic cycle. Now I judge on how my pants fit. If the center seam of the pants feel like a thong..then it is time to shed a few pounds. I guess after my Dairy Queen Blizzard and my second glass of wine...I decided tomorrow would be a good day to hit my calorie goal.  

The anxiety and disorganization I face near Christmas is not limited to this time of year...just heightened. I am not one of those people who seems to have it all figured out. I am on constant survival mode. Goal: make it to tomorrow...that is it. (that has lead to three times of being stranded gas-less on the road). I don't have a master plan nor I am a good leader of my house. I saw that evident when Olivia once again lost her homework today. Her teacher (and this is not the first teacher) has said she was forgetful and didn't always turn her work in on time. On one hand, I was upset with her...she is in  second grade after all and it is not her teacher's job to make sure she checks her mailbox every day. On the other hand, I was upset with myself. I know how she feels..the last minute anxiety over a forgotten task..the leaving an important document behind...the being overall unprepared for life itself that is all ringing with a familiar twist. I can actually feel her mind bouncing from thought to thought..from task to task...unable to zero in on one thing. My work, my home, my family, my children, my obligations...I am constantly a full stride behind them. I am the person buying the gift for the birthday party (and bag and card) ten minutes before it starts. 

This season is an elevated example of how we function in real life. My pursuit is to be good at one domestic thing. Maybe I will be the perfect gift wrapper or have the best recipe for eggnog. There is really one thing I love to do this season (or any) and that is this: shop. 
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Birthday Gift
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The Birthday boy decorating

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Our village needs more houses

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Blouse: Gabriel Brothers
Pants/Belt: The Limited
Scarf: American Eagle
Shoes: Piperlime
Neklace: Gift

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mommy Time

Wanted: peace and quiet. That means fifteen minutes of actual bathroom time. That does not mean bathroom time that consists of a small hand knocking on the door. "Mom...can I come in?". Or maybe ten minutes of getting dressed alone. That means me putting on a shirt and pants (socks is pushing it) with out a little body appearing in my room. It usually goes more like...shirt off..Liv in doorway. Then I tell her to get out and I will be there in a minute. She seems to linger..for a minute longer than necessary. She stares at me as I stand there all naked and exposed. Finally I tell her to get the "h-e-double hockey stick" out. "Sorry" she will respond and huff out of my room as if my quick Nat-Geo show for her wasn't enough to prove my undying love..or something like that.

Olivia is one of those kids who gets just a smidgen too close to you when she is talking. As if the more excited she gets..the closer she becomes. We have actually had conversations where I started on one side of the couch and as she crept closer I would move only to find my self at the other end. I am still baffled by her internal sensor that know just when I have done the following things:

-Sat down
-Opened the refrigerator
-Opened the front door to get the mail
-Gotten in the shower
-Started to put on make up
-Decided to paint my nails
-Went to the bathroom
-Wanted to watch TV

These are just a small example of the times Olivia shows up and starts acting extra "Liv-like". I think it has to do with my mom trimming her bangs. The shorter they get the more Olivia she becomes. When I say that, I mean she acts like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Her her feet are made of rubber her butt is made out of springs. She bounces, bounces, bounces all over the house. Olivia has a hard time sitting like a normal person and asking for something. She likes to sit on top of the couch rails, close to the fall off point. She will have a conversation by leaning in close to you. 

On Sunday, Olivia had a bout of extreme Olivia-ism. (or for her a normal Sunday). We did our usual get up and go to church routine. (the longest time Olivia goes with out talking all week...). Then we came home and had our usual Sunday brunch. (Josh makes bacon, french toast and eggs and I online shop). After breakfast, I was feeling a little lazy. The bacon was mixing up with the syrup in my stomach and they were telling me to sit down and watch TV. The kids had run off into their respected rooms and I decided to go ahead and enjoy our free weekend of Encore and Stars. Confession: I am a sucker for a Sunday rom-com. I save Sunday afternoons for the most chickest of flicks (Thirteen going on Thirty anyone?). I found myself alone..turning to stars only to find "Just Go with It" on. Rom-com + Jennifer Aniston + lazy Sunday afternoon - kids = Mommy heaven. (Did I ever mention I had the "Rachel" in high school?). As the movie went on...a cute, funny and predictable plot mixed with cute kids and Nick Swardson, I found myself  relaxing on my day of rest. I noticed Layla had entered the room and was sitting on the opposite couch reading her usual Cat Warriors saga. Layla and I usually have a way to peacefully coexist. We will exchange the occasional conversational pleasantries..or she will spout off a random animal fact that I never knew and will most likely forget. As I was writing this post, she sat down and showed me her book on how you can paint animals on rocks. We went through page by page and looked at all the different animals you can paint on a rock..who knew? Then, in came Olivia. She sat right next to me. I was sitting slightly sideways with my legs curled to one side and my hip pointing out of the other. (or it could be my large ass filled with stuffing). She began to slowly creep onto my hip. I could feel her breath against my shoulder. I inched away a bit..she had that weird grin on her face...like she wanted to ask me something. She inched closer. I looked at Josh..who had also joined our party. (By that I mean he was sitting next to us engrossed on some ipod fantasy game). "She wants to cuddle with you." Josh said looking up from his game. Olivia gave an approving smile. I put my arm around her and we watched the movie. My enjoyment of the movie got tangled with Liv's questions.

Liv: Who is that girl?
Me: Its his girlfriend
Liv: Whose kids are they?
Me: The other girl
Liv: Why is she sad?
Me: because she loves him
Liv: Do those kids live in Hawaii?
Me: No. will you just pay attention!
Layla: What is this rated?
Me: I don't know. PG-13 maybe
Layla: Maybe we shouldn't be watching it
Liv: I like it. It is funny. Where did the blond girl go?
Me: They broke up. Layla do you feel offended by this movie? Do you feel it is inappropriate?
Layla: Not really..but it is PG-13
Me: Then don't watch it. This is not the only room in the house
Liv: Are those his kids?
Me: No
Liv: Whose kids are they then?
Me: That girls..again.


Mom lessons to be learned: Don't try to enjoy a grown up movie with kids around. On one hand, I have a child who can't sit still long enough to catch the predictable plot and on the other hand I have my mom-child questioning my parenting decisions on what I allow them to watch. There are many shades of gray with me. Was it a kid appropriate movie? (minus the Dave Mathews coconut part..which totally went over their heads). At times..but even if I had sent the girls away..they would have lingered back in their own little ways. Someone needs a bigger house!

Since it is Monday..and my Monday pants are tight..I have decided a food detox was in order. I will try to squeeze into some of my favorite pants to get some outfit posts back up. I went for an old favorite.Hipstamatic. This is my favorite of all iphone apps. It is an old fashioned camera..with really cool lens and flash features. Liv was more than happy to do a model show for me to take pics. I told her my post was about her..and what a pain in the butt she was. "Mommy..I am not a pain in the you know what." "No, No Liv..you are not at all."

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Liv

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Shirt: Justice for Girls
Tank: Gap Kids
Jeggings/ Sock 1: Target
Sock 2: Walmart




Saturday, November 26, 2011

Your Mom Goes to College....

Yeah..that is my favorite line from Napoleon Dynamite. I can't help but smile when I think of that nerd/pedophile hybrid..Kip. He was my favorite character in the movie. I like to think that if Kip can find love than anyone can.

Deep down I think we are all college football fans for the simple reason that college was the best time of our lives. There will never be another time when we have unlimited freedom and endless opportunities. (retirement?). It is a time when the more broke you are the cooler you seem. (starving artists always get laid).  College is when you spend four years (at least that is what they tell you) trying to find yourself. When that four years is over then you have to face the music. (and not the amazing local band at a dive bar kind of music). It is time to become an adult. Game over thanks for playing.

You do get one thing from college. You get to call yourself an Alumni. Even if I am ringing out people with black eyes from fighting over $2 waffle makers at Wal-Mart on Black Friday...I can still proudly say I am an Alumni of The Ohio State University. (yes..THE is part of the title..). Lucky for me, that is not my current occupation and I feel very sorry for the people whose job that is. I don't think they woke up one day and said.."I want to work at Wal-Mart so I can leave my family before my turkey is digested and head to work where people will act like savages in order to score a few deals. Ok..I promise that is my first and only Black Friday rant. The point I really want to make is that your alumni status at any university is something you can be proud of..it represents where you where when you found yourself.

Ten years ago..(sadly more..) I would spend my Saturday mornings bleeding scarlet and gray. The city of Columbus OH becomes a force on game day mornings. There is a buzz that circulates when the Ohio State Buckeyes are playing. Whether or not your are a fan of football or drunk people wearing buckeye necklaces, you have to admit there is a certain magic behind it. It is one of the things I miss about living in Columbus. I may not follow college football word for word..game for game..but I do love to put on a Buckeyes Tshirt every Saturday in the fall to proudly display that I am a buckeye. I graduated from The Ohio State University...class of 2002..with a Bachelors degree in English. No matter where I am in my life, I get to reflect on four years of amazing times. (and yes..I am one of the proud few who did it in four years!) Anywhere you go in the world you can find an Ohio State fan.

Today is the most important day in any Buckeye's life. Once a year we get mean and nasty.....and downright hateful all behind one common enemy...Michigan. We can't even say the word Michigan without a cringe in our scarlet and gray noses. I can honestly say, I have trouble pairing the colors of yellow and navy because that is the color Michigan fans bleed. Our season has been unfortunate this year. It started with scandal and has been overshadowed by loss. There is one thing that can turn this sad year on its side...and that is a Michigan victory. Then we forget everything bad that has happened.

When game days come along I like to shake it up a bit. Sometimes I just wear the colors red and gray. Today I am going to wear my favorite Ohio State shirt and a pair of wide leg jeans. The whole thing has a seventies vibe to it. No matter what I end up doing today...there will always be that college student inside that is sitting on her front lawn on campus screaming O-H-I-O



Shirt: Nike  (from Macys)
Shoes: Converse (from Kohls)
Belt: Walmart
Jeans: Gap

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grateful

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"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right..." 
The Grateful Dead


Name one thing you are greatful for...

Olivia: What does grateful mean?
Me: What do you think it means? 
Olivia: Thankful?
Me: Yes..what is one thing you are thankful for?
Olivia: Layla
Layla: I am thankful for Warrior Cats
Olivia: You and Daddy..you know, like, parents. I am thankful parents. 
Me: Layla? anything else?
Layla: Wolfquest. 
Olivia: And the third thing, my pets
Layla: I am thankful for my parents
Olivia: You aren't thankful for me? 
Layla: Of course I am thankful for me. 
Me: Why do you think we sit down and have a dinner based on what we are thankful for?
Olivia: I am not sure
Layla: That is actually pretty confussing to me.

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It is funny how much we talk and teach the children to be thankful for things. We teach them basic manners like saying thank you when some one opens a door for you. Do we teach them what it truly means to be thankful? I can honestly say that I never heard an instance where I was upset to hear the word thank you. (Even in the only bad Alanis Morriset Song..Thank You). Small gestures of thank you can go a long way....including the appreciatve wave when someone lets you out. 

I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey days. I love a day of over eating, watching football and hanging out with family. I have a long list of things to be thankful for...but one of them is the people who have read and encouraged me and this blog over the last six months. I am still pursuiting away here and am grateful to have you all along. After all, a person is nothing with friends. I have kept true to my no pants rule on thursday...and added another reason to wear dresses. There is nothing better than not wearing pants when stuffing your gut with turkey and rum. (my family is half pirate). You see your belly button pop out of the front of the dress like a turkey timer telling you dinner is ready. That is when you are grateful that you wore a dress and not jeans. While I get compliments on how much I dress up for the occasion...I can honestly say the real reason behind the dress is to fit more pumpkin pie in my belly. 

Hope everyone has a great remainder of the holiday weekend!!

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LIv's Skirt/tights: Target
Liv's Sweater: Gap Kids
LIv's Tank: Justice for Girls
Liv's Boots: Shoe Carnival



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Sweater: Forever 21
Dress: New York & Co
Tights/Earrings: Target
Sunglasses: Walgreens
Ring: The Limited
Belt: My Grandma's
Boots: Piperlilme




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fifteen Minutes

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 I find it odd as a society that certain people are given their fifteen minutes of fame. Whether it is a heroic deed, a song or something that they said, you really never know what your fifteen minutes of fame could be about. You could be walking down the street and something could fall out of the sky and hit you. It seems unlikely but it could happen, Donnie Darko. How do you prepare for your fifteen minutes of fame? I like to think sometimes our life is preparation for our eventual fifteen minutes. Just ask an Nancy Kerrigan...or any other Olympian. You train most of your life and if you are lucky you win a gold medal (or ten if you are Michael Phelps). You are met with chants of USA, USA, USA..then fifteen minutes later you are forgotten (unless you come back four years later for the repeat cycle). I like the unlikely fifteen minutes...or the unlikely hero. Like the guy who landed the plan safely after a bird attack. Or something along that line...seriously who has time to remember every fifteen minutes? Suddenly the world wants to tell your story...and you get to cut in line at the grocery store. People can go from an average Joe (the plumber) to a celebrity in minutes. Then the magic wave of pop culture flies over you and has to quit. (unless of course you are too legit ....)

I am a fan (facebook like) of the expression jumping on the bandwagon. I have no clue what that means. My friend Wiki said it has its origins in circus culture. It has to do with the excitement the circus caused when it would come to town with decorated bandwagons and the town would ooh and awe...and other fifteen minutes of banter.  Think of how Big Top Pee Wee abandoned growing hot dog trees to run off with not Rainman's girlfriend. (mmmm. Valeria Golino..the original Penolope Cruise) The band wagon was the talk of the town.."did you see the band wagon"..etc. Keep in mind this was way before iphones. Of course politicians jumped in on this idea (literally joined the bandwagon) and the expression stuck around longer than we could possibly understand the actual meaning behind it....much like the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Music even has a name for artists who suffer from fifteen minutes of fame syndrome...they are called one hit wonders. So if the only significant contribution you are going to make to music is wishing you were a little bit taller, Skee-lo, then please enjoy your fifteen minutes...unless of course Dancing with the Stars has run out of football players and Olympians. In Hollywood, the new comeback is called a reality show. When your fifteen minutes expires you can just wait another fifteen minutes then get your own show. How else do you think Tori Spelling has managed to stay significant. Once Donna Martin gave up her virginity it was game over 90210.

The same goes for fashion. Do you ever stop to think your gauchos are sooo 2005? Clothes can suffer from a fifteen minutes of fame tragedy followed by a reality show (or popular sitcom Al Bundy) style rebirth. (Bell bottom blues..don't say goodbye). When you are reading magazines and looking around at all your favorite stores..think of what you are buying now. Are you looking for a classic trench again this spring because you just didn't find the right one last spring. Then go ahead and spend away on that one...that will never go the sad way of the Starter Parka. (or the Charlotte Hornets....). Most sweaters..unless the classic cable knit V neck..are items you can purchase seasonally..and cheap. The eighty dollar Ed Hardy tank is not looking like a great clothes investment now, is it?  Today when I got dressed, I thought about my dedication to style and being trendy. While I can create buzz with my red ankle pants, it is the classic items like a great pair of navy pants that will keep me trendy. Sometimes being able to mix classic pieces is the best way to keep your perfect white button down from prematurely aging. It is like Diane Sawye interviewing Kim Kardashian..you know one is known for dependability and longevity and they are sponging off the other one's fifteen minutes (which is on minute 14 and a half). Next time you are somewhere like Target or Forever 21...purchase one item you think is too trendy for you. You know the thought "I am too (old, fat, short, nerdy, plain, tall, etc) to pull that off. Buy them cheap and wear them proud..because like the cast of Twilight (sorry Twilight fans!)...their fifteen minutes are ticking away.

My look today was purely classic. I wasn't going for my fifteen minutes. I was going for ageless. The combination of striped button down under a Vneck and navy pants is a look I borrowed from the guys. Menswear inspired looks are fun and easy to pull of because of their simplicity. My modern twist? I choose my sweater in this fall fifteen minutes of fame shade...red.

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Sweater: Target
Shirt: JC Penney
Scarf: Gap
Pants: The Express
Shoes/Earrings: Dillards

Monday, November 21, 2011

Magne Buttons Demo and Buying Information

I just got my new Opal button. I love how well it keeps my scarf in place...and adds a touch of glamour. All this with out puncturing the fabric. This is especially amazing if you own silk scarves. Magnetic is the way to go...check them out. They make great gifts!!!





They range from $18- $20. contact me with more ordering information. I am in the process of putting together an order site for easy and secure online ordering. Wholesale and Merchant ordering also available

For now email me with for ordering information

2barebuttons@gmail.com






Writer's Block

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There is a feeling like a word on the tip of my tongue that I can't quite get out. It is a thought that is stuck floating around my head unable to be closely pondered. The pursuit has come to a fork in the road unsure which direction to go. Do I go with the safe route which has always been the easy way out, or do I take the unknown direction to the land of oz? (Hopefully finding my brain, heart and nerve along the way). For the last month, I have thrown my heart and soul into this blog. I got up earlier (like ten minutes), got dressed up and even did something I was not used to doing, I planned in advance. The pursuit and my life became intertwined like two silk strands of a spider web. I wove little tales and trapped the bugs into my web of daily life. Then something happened, something I did not expect....writer's block. I turned on the faucet and no water came out. The other day, I saw the first sign of the holiday season, the Salvation army bells. I dug into my purse, looking for loose change. Maybe the only reason I was there was to rent a movie, but I still wanted to start off my holiday season right. I dug into the crap trap that is my purse. I dug through receipts, reward cards, coupons, wallets, earrings...but no change. Not a dollar not a penny. I sat the purse on top of my car to get a better angle for me to reach my arm in. Still, I couldn't find something that would satisfy my need to put into the red pot. Finally, I gave up and gave the bell ringer an apologetic smile. I guess that is what I have been feeling the last few days. I am reaching into my life digging for something that I just can't find. Since I have started doing this, the one thing that I have feared the most has happened....I ran out of things to say. My thought path became blurred and I have lost sight of my master plan.

Thank you for bearing with me. Maybe the reason I spent the last ten years wishing I could write regularly was that I knew what I would do when things got tough....I would quit. Giving up on writing is what I consider to be taking the easy way. When the going gets tough...I get the hell out. I needed to go beyond my normal way of thinking tonight if I was going to salvage the confidence I have gotten by doing this. I have always taken the easy way...so now the other road is not that easy. This is the learning curve that I have created...so I will have to learn to see both sides of it.

Anyone else not have any clue how to ask for help...or what to do when someone offers you help. You want to take on the world alone...but you take on too much. I am pretty sure that sums up motherhood. You are the one they turn to for advice..the one who has all the answers. There was a time when I truly felt like an adult..that was the time my mom turned to me for advice. I felt so wise and important...like my opinion truly mattered. It started small..like what kind of jeans she should buy and turned into important life decisions like jobs and money. Pretty soon, I was like her equal..or better yet a friend. I thought about that tonight when I asked for help. Who do you ask for help with writers block? I asked the artist of the house. Layla has quietly been typing up a storm. She discovered the wonder that is Microsoft Word...or as she calls it Ms.Word. She told me she is very excited to be typing up her adventure stories. Like me she wants to find a publisher to turn her stories into a book. I asked her if she ever got writer's block. She looked at me perplexed. "Sometimes" she admitted. 'What do you do?" I asked, "Where do you come up with your stories? You always seem to have something to write...do you ever wonder what to write next?" Layla: "Well at school at recess, me and my friend play adventure games so I come home and write them down. We are pretending to be a cat named Willow, a dog named Cutie, another dog named Sandy and a cat Fang. Then we always come up with ideas so I come home and write them down. I write my ideas while I am thinking...and sometimes I change my ideas." She kept going on and on and on..mostly about cats, adventures, dragons, gills, amphibian skins....." I looked at her...mostly the look in her eye as she looked off to one side. "So you just have a really big imagination?" I asked. "Yeah," She smiled.

The recipe for creativity is difficult to make. It takes a pinch of determination, and ounce of dedication..a cup of patience all stirred together with a ton of imagination. When I get stuck in the rut of everyday life, it is not always easy for me to see beyond it. I don't know how to make a world where cats talk and where a dog named Cutie calls all the shots. I am going trust in Layla's imagination because I am sure she has enough to go around. Any kid smart enough to know the best way to enjoy a cake pop from the night before is to hide it from Daddy is worth paying attention to. For those of you who are writers..I would love to hear your story. How do you get through writer's block? How do you find inspiration in the mundane? Learning to write is a lot like training for a marathon. It is not a sprint...but a slow and steady pace. There will be days when you excel at it and go that extra mile or two (pardon the cliche) and of course there will be days where you truck along and work your way through it. Writing has become too much a part of my life to give up now..so I am going to have to take the different road, the scary road..the Alice in Wonderland road...and finish the race.

Since Layla is my inspiration for the night...I put up a picture of hers. Her art has become much more of a process and I don't get the weekly pictures that I used to. It has been a while but here are one of her pictures.

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What are some ways you get through writer's block? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Cage

"I'm standing on a stage. Of fear and self-doubt. It's a hollow play. But they'll clap anyway"
-The Arcade Fire

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There are those days when I feel like my physical and mental state are not at all inline. I will look at people at times and wonder where they are in their creative process. I wonder if they are deep in tuned with their process or at the part when they are not at all inline. Some days you feel like you are stuck in a cage. Something is containing you. Maybe the key is near, but your arm doesn't quite reach. Life is keeping you stuck inside of yourself like a cage. Maybe there is something from your past that has become shackled to your leg and is slowing your stride. Maybe self doubt has kept you from even wanting to leave the house. The cage can be anything we trap ourselves in.


I guess tonight I am getting a case of Sunday anxiety. The end of one thing and the beginning of the next can be both enlightening and terrifying. The holidays are around the corner and the end of another year. What part of the creative process have I accomplished? Am still stuck in the cage of fear and self doubt? Or have I taken that step forward. There is this part of the daily rut that can really trap us. Self doubt can really trap us. Can I be always destined to fail? Or have I not even started the race. Some days I feel quirky and individual...others I feel like a joke that has no punch line.


I usually don't like to use this space to be sad or to vent, but as I sit here on a cold Sunday night, I feel some pressure coming my way. Maybe it is pressure to be something better than I have ever been. Maybe it the pressure to get out of the cage I have created for myself. Maybe it is the pressure to contain the chaos around me. Does anyone else get Migraines? I feel like the pressure of migraines building in my chest and head. The head wants something the heart can't always deliver. I can feel some pressure building a cage around me. The world is spinning too fast around me and I need to take a minute and step out of it to regain my ground. I need to put my feet back on solid ground and align my intuitions. There is the key. I can reach out and almost touch it. It is close. stretch my fingers out as long as they will go. I can almost reach it. It is that night where I put on my self doubt playlist (yes, I have one of those) and succomb and allow myself to sit in the cage. "My body is a cage..that keeps me from dancing with the one I love..but my mind holds the key."


When I get that feeling of depression, there is really only one place where I can lift my spirits...the mall. I was in desperate need of a little retail therapy. I think the reason there is so many holiday sales is for people like me who use shopping to cure the blues. Like Charlie at the Chocolate factory..I was doe eyed looking around at the holiday sales. Half off here...buy one get one free there. Shop temptation was all around. So I showed my girls how a new dress can make us all feel better. What did I get from this weekend? I realized that sometimes it is ok to doubt yourself and to be afraid of what the future holds....and a nice new red dress


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Dress/Belt/Scarf: The Limited
Boots: Cole Haan (TJ Maxx)
Bracelet: The Bahamas

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Resume

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If they tell you not to judge a book by its cover, then why does the potential world of employment judge us by a resume? If I am a book, then my resume would be the cover...or would the cover letter be the cover? I have to wonder if our system of finding and attracting employees based on our perceived notion of their resume is somewhat flawed. We use a piece of paper to draw out traits from a person before we have even met them. We draw an ethnicity and gender out of their name and automatically assume they fit into what ever stereotypes apply. You resume is the most important piece of paper you will ever write, it is what the world will think of you. You are the book and it is your cover, so when you sit down to craft this delicate outline of your life's accomplishments, it is hard to sum up what kind of a person you think you are. Then the employer judges you on the person you think you are. I put down that I bring my analytical skills to the table. Maybe that is valuable..maybe they are looking for someone who is skilled in the art of pressing enter and printing perfect margins. Job descriptions are constantly looking for self starters, organized and a multitasker. Yikes, I would describe myself as needs to be pushed, disorganized and can barely concentrate on the task at hand (aka ADHD).

What if life had you write a resume. Your friends would only allow you to the group if you had a certain skill set they were looking for. This skill set changes as you get older. In middle school it is: Can speak to the other sex. In high school it is: Own a car, can beer bong, has a late curfew, makes me look cool and lets me borrow clothes. In college you start to get picky: Isnt' a 75, has fake ID, would let me live with them. When you reach full blown adulthood, you start to pick your friends based on similarities: have children, swear, likes music, doesn't think I am weird. We seem to value what people bring to the table whether or not it is a desirable trait...or a work friendly trait.

Maybe we need resumes to date. I am Kristen...I like music, art, reading, long walks along the beach and I tend to get clingy after date 3. Think about the person you are with...how would they stand up in your resume test? Josh: 5'2 on a good day, likes video games, Yanni, and drinks with little umbrellas. Yes..that is my husband. I am really unfamiliar with the online dating world...I found my husband the old fashioned way..in a bar. My relationship was not one that was mapped out by compatibility features. My husband proposed to me the old fashioned way...by getting me pregnant.

I guess I am a little unnerved by the way we find jobs. We turn in a piece of paper and hope it is better than all the other pieces of paper in the pile. We don't know what makes it better than the other pieces of paper, it could be the font we use or our ten years of customer service. Then if our piece of paper moves on to the next round we have to sit in a room where a stranger asks a series of questions we hope to say the right answer to. Then if they like our answers we are brought back to the room to ask even more questions. If this round of questions is acceptable..then they will dig into our background. They call our friends and ask them a series of questions we can only hope our friends know the answer to. Then they check our criminal records, our credit score, our driving record and even in some cases (gasp) our urine. ALL this at the chance that we may be a good fit.

I guess I read a bit too far into it...but for anyone who has been in the job hunting game it is a nightmare. It is the kind of thing that keeps us in jobs from graduation until retirement. We say we don't like change, but what we really don't like is the idea of our life being once again brought into question by strangers. If you are like me, you put a bunch of stuff on your piece of paper that you thought that people wanted to hear. You added skills and qualifications for an imaginary position you hoped to get. For me the only reason I like interviews is the interview outfit. It is the only time during the whole process where the other person is going to judge you based on the picture you painted. If you wear an outfit that is polished and professional with out looking too stuffy, you are going to have a better shot at that job. I am the kind of person who would wear a Calvin Klein dress to an interview at McDonalds.

This morning when I tucked my head into my navy BCBG shirt dress, I felt like I was putting on my resume for life. The dress paired with a cardi one of my favorite brick red/ navy combos with a scarf and tights..no that is something that defines me. I think getting dressed every morning is writing your resume for life. You never know when a potential employer is out there. You may hold the door open for them at the Mall or you may let them borrow a pen. I don't necessary buy that I can be summed up on a piece of paper (or by six months of blogging). I can be summed up by a navy shirt dress.

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Dress: BCBG
Cardi: JCrew
Necklace: Homemade
Tights: Kohls
Shoes:MIA (DSW)
Scarf: The Limited
Coat: Modcloth
Purse: Fossil 
Earrings: Charlotte Russe