things i love thursday! (august 18, 2011)

Okay. Not going to lie, y’all. Today isn’t super great. Two of my good friends are moving away this weekend, and one of them works in my office. I’m sitting in my cubicle, teetering back and forth between teary-eyed and composed. But, as sad as it makes me to see them go, I am so impossibly happy for them and their new adventures! So today, my TiLT list is dedicated to Jessica and Felicite, and all the wonderful things I love about them. Enjoy. 🙂

 

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT FELICITE:

  • How cute is she as Madeline?
  • She is wonderfully beautiful and has an amazing style — In the entire year I’ve known her, I’ve never seen her wear an outfit twice.
  • Her laugh.
  • How she can make smoking a cigarette look so bloody cool.
  • The fact that she, like me, is a cat person.
  • Sigmund!
  • The way she loves people from all walks of life.
  • How she talks to her car.
  • I WANT 2 SUICIDE.
  • She reads. A lot.
  • She’s a fellow newsie.
  • She is incredibly empathetic and a wonderful listener.
  • Her presence on IM. (It has gotten me through many a bad day at work.)
  • Spontaneous wine/beer nights after work.
  • She sweetly indulges my husband’s weird television choices when she comes over.
  • Free pizza.
  • Long talks on the porch.
  • She has a Harry Potter time turner tattoo.
  • She has made me a better person.
  • She is moving to New York City, one of the coolest cities in the world, to undoubtedly change more lives.

 

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT JESSICA:

  • Her face is illuminated. Seriously. Not only is she completely gorgeous on the outside, but her sweet, loving, adorable personality shines through to make her even more beautiful.
  • She rocks a side-pony.
  • “I Love Santa!”
  • The fact that despite not knowing me but for a few weeks, she took care of me after “The Gincident” in London.
  • She also remained friends with me afterward and even hung out with me when we moved back to the States.
  • She finds pure joy in everything around her.
  • She’s relentlessly generous.
  • She always brings food to my house. Always. Even if I’m cooking her dinner, she always brings food.
  • With one board game, Things, she did a total 180 on how our friends do get-togethers.
  • She sub-let my (totally crappy) apartment while I was working in London and even offered to cat-sit!
  • Her hair is FANTASTIC.
  • She also reads a lot.
  • She’s the eternal optimist.
  • She introduced me to one of my favorite TV shows, How I Met Your Mother.
  • She gives everyone a chance. Everyone.
  • She made us blast Christmas music and walk down Oxford Street in December.
  • Sometimes her midwestern accent comes out. It’s adorable.
  • Despite us being busy as people in the adult world, she’s always always ALWAYS made an effort to make time to hang out with me. That means so much to me.
  • She has never, not once, made me feel bad or guilty about being myself. She’s loved me at my worst; she truly, honestly has a gift.

Okay. I’ve succeeded in crossing over from merely being teary-eyed to having a full-blown mascara malfunction. I should probably stop here. Felicite and Jessica, good luck in New York and Miami respectively; you two are both special, wonderful, beautiful people to me. I am so blessed to know you.

Love,

Lindsay

catherine, duchess of photoshoppington.

Okay. So my headline needs work. Whatever — deal with it.

Last weekend, Dan and I went over to our friend Ashley’s  house to hang out. Ashley’s a professional photographer (probably the best I’ve ever seen, by the way, and I don’t say that because she’s my friend — I say it because it’s true!) and we somehow got on the topic of outrageous Photoshop disasters. Then, Ashley pulled up Photoshop on her Macbook showed me just how easy it is to edit and morph images of people to make them look completely different. It blew my mind. I know Photoshop is powerful, but to see it in action is baffling.

If you’ve been paying any attention to the world at all, or have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that 99.9% of the images you see in magazines are Photoshopped. Maybe it’s desensitization to the issue, I don’t know, but I don’t get the urge to blog about each and every image I come across, pointing out all the obvious ways the image is distorted. I’ve just grown to accept that Photoshop isn’t going away and, if anything, it’s becoming more and more widely used. Sigh. I don’t like it, but it’s not like one little blog out there is going to change anything.

But every once in a while, a magazine will go way too far and piss me too far off to not talk about it. Grazia did that for me this week. Check out these magazine covers from Grazia, showing the same exact image of Kate Middleton.

Left: Australian Grazia. Right: British Grazia.

Image source: Jezebel

Grazia! What are you doing? That’s the SAME. EXACT. PHOTO. How did you think no one would notice?

Okay, so seeing these images initially made me angry for the same reason all Photoshopped images make me angry. Someone out there took a picture of another human being and decided she wasn’t thin enough so they just had to edit her waist down to an impossible size. And publish it for millions of people to see.

But then I stopped and thought, Holy crap, this is Princess Kate Middleton on her bloody wedding day. First of all, if I found out that my wedding photographer Photoshopped the pictures of my big day to indicate that I got married without a freaking ribcage, I would punch her. But, that glaring fact aside, do any of you reading this remember the headlines surrounding Kate before her wedding to Prince William?

And so many more.

So. Even after all the hoopla surrounding Kate being too skinny, Grazia evidently thought she still wasn’t skinny enough for the cover of their British magazine.

According to the lovely, smart, talented ladies at HelloGiggles, the folks at Grazia responded to the public’s outrage by saying they “reassure all our readers that we did not purposely make any alteration of the Duchess of Cambridge’s image to make her appear slimmer and we are sorry if this process gave that impression.

Yeah. Okay. That story holds about as much water as Kate Middleton’s non-existent stomach.

tuesday tip — triggers.

A word to the wise: don’t go grocery shopping with me. I am no help.

When Dan and I go shopping, I try my hardest to help out. I’m really great at making the list, but my helpfulness stops there and I end up just taking up valuable aisle space. Dan takes my list and actually goes to retrieve all of the items, while I simply bark out on which aisles they can be found. Then, to add icing on the grocery-shopping cake, I totally space out at the checkout counter. My eyes glaze over, and I zoom in on the magazine racks, taking in headline after intriguing headline on each tabloid. As my poor husband piles our groceries onto the conveyor belt by himself, I turn into a magazine-flipping zombie. I read about celebrities I don’t even know. Celebrities I don’t even care about. What is she wearing? What movie is she in? Who’s her new boyfriend? Where’d she get that bikini? What is that–

“LINDSAY! We’re leaving!”

My trance is broken by an undoubtedly irritated husband who has just purchased, bagged, and carted all of our groceries on his own.

“Oh. Right. Uh. I knew that. Sorry. Uh. Coming.”

The magazine phenomenon seems harmful at first; apart from feeling bad for holding Dan up and offering up no assistance at the checkout counter, I feel pretty fine. But twenty, thirty, forty minutes later, something changes.

“What’s wrong?” Dan asks.
“Huh?”
“You look… sad. Is everything okay?”
“Oh. Yeah. I just. I feel really fat and ugly right now.”
“Why? What happened?”
“I don’t know, but I wish I looked like [insert the name of the celebrity on the cover of the magazine I looked at earlier.]”

SIGH.

I don’t know why I seemingly come down with amnesia each time we go to the grocery store. The outcome is always the same, but like a dog that keeps eating its own poop and hoping not to throw up, I can’t help but consume images in magazines and hope they don’t make me feel bad about my appearance.

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS.

Triggers. We all have them. Maybe your trigger is magazines, too. Celebrity gossip sites, perhaps. Romantic comedies, maybe. Or, maybe your trigger is a person who talks badly about their body around you. Maybe it’s an abusive partner. Whatever it is for you, it is imperative you recognize it to become healthy.

In a perfect world, I would rid the planet of these trashy magazines that cause me to think poorly about myself. I would call up Publix and Winn-Dixie and Walmart and Kmart and Retail Store X and use my endearing charm to convince them to burn magazine shipments on delivery. Then, I’d live happily ever after in my tabloid-free world! But, as you are well aware, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a broken world where avoiding our triggers completely is unfortunately impossible. All I can do is recognize that tabloids are a trigger for me, confront these magazines, and steal their power.

Tabloid magazines, you are just paper. You have no power over my self-worth.

You can do it, too. Analyze your life and find out what it is that can set your mind in a negative whirlwind. Sometimes it happens so fast, we don’t even realize it. But it is so worth it for you to work to discover what triggers your negative self talk. Recognize your triggers and then rid them of their power.

Negative people, you are just insecure about yourself. I am beautiful.
Advertisements, you aren’t a representation of reality. I am real, and I am lovely.
Abusive boyfriend, you just want to have control over something. You can’t control me or my body.
Fitting room lighting, you’re trying to make me look bad on purpose. You’re failing.
Scale, you are just an electronic box. You have no dictation over my health or beauty.

Once you are able to take control of your triggers, they lose their control over you. And oh, how freeing it is.

diet coke 12-pack: week of august 8, 2011

Happy Friday, Diet Coke addicts! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic and fulfilling week. And hey, even if you didn’t, it’s the weekend now. Time to boogie. Start off your weekend off right by chowing down on these delicious Internet snacks. Xoxox.

THE LINKS!

That’s all for this week. See you Tuesday! Much love!

things i love thursday! (august 11, 2011)

Hello lovelies! Hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday! Today, the never ending money-suck that is my husband’s Volkswagen Jetta tried its best to ruin my day by breaking for the umpteenth time, but I will not be moved! Life is grand, babes. And Cameron, my 2000 Camry, is still kickin’ like a boss.

"I will heal you when you're sick or hurt."

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Kids, and the sweet things they say. (See photo.)
  • Eating out for dinner for an entire week straight thanks to anniversaries and gift cards and being too busy to go grocery shopping. We can’t eat out for another two weeks but HEY. It was a pretty fun week!
  • Accidentally having two extremely delicious dinners on Thursday night due to a very fortunate miscommunication.
  • Mark Poole’s fries!
  • Wickle’s Pickles.
  • Bath time with Kylin.
  • “Five five five five five!” Oh, didn’t you hear? Kylin can count now!
  • Staying out way too late with Ashley and Mark (because we love them too much to get off their couch.)
  • A 40-day long anniversary present.
  • Manicures and pedicures.
  • Free nail polish.
  • Aveda.
  • Coupons for free undies and cheap bras.
  • Knocking out wedding invites with Chrissie and the girls.
  • Seeing Michael again!
  • “That’s what she said.”
  • “Sit.” “Hold.” “Bite.” “HOT!”
  • Stratton Glaze.
  • A bunch of old and new friends cramming into a teeny house to say goodbye.
  • Home brews and friends posing as amateur bartenders.
  • Falling back to sleep after being woken up way too early.
  • The entire story of Jacob in 20 minutes.
  • One Fresh.
  • Chili’s with the faves.
  • Redemption in the most unlikely form.
  • Strongbow and The Worst Case Scenario with Jessica and Nathan.
  • Lunch with this guy.
  • Drinks and appetizers after work with my coworkers, boss, and boss’s boss.
  • Truffle tots. Or whatever they’re called. Yummers.
  • Riesling.
  • Whispering.
  • Frozen Butterbeer.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Love.
  • You.

That’s all for me. Now it’s your turn! What do you love? Let me know!

but they’re just children.

The other night, I was sitting on my couch, drinking a glass of pino grigio, watching the CBS Evening News. My sweet (and way too good for me) husband was in the kitchen, hustling and bustling to prepare dinner for us. As the news stories churned on and on, spewing gloom and doom about debt ceilings and helicopters full of our troops being shot down, I tried to focus on the tantalizing aromas floating out to me from the kitchen and the sweet, tangy wine dancing on my tongue. Working in news will do all but completely numb you to the pain and heartbreak of the world, so as I comfortably lay on that couch, I tried my best to channel that familiar apathetic mindset.

Just as I was adequately removing myself from the news, Scott Pelley popped up on the screen in a live shot from Somalia. He was reporting from a dark, dusty refugee camp, filled with groups of sad, emaciated children — 3.5 million children in Somalia are starving to death at this very moment. Before I could change the channel, I was awash in a sea of my own tears. I was breaking down, on my fluffy couch, thousands of miles away from these kids, and all I could think to myself was, But God, why them? Why? They’re just children! The story really hit home when the camera zoomed in on a tiny toddler, about the same age as my very good friend’s sweet daughter, whose arms were only a few centimeters around. In a matter of seconds I went to completely and happily removed from the situation, mindlessly enjoying the luxuries of hot food and cold drink, to sitting on the edge of my couch sweeping away tear after tear. But they’re just children! I pleaded with God in my head. Please God, you have to save them!

The next morning I came into work, those small, helpless children pushed into the back of my mind by the morning’s responsibilities. I pulled an apple out of my bag, and started to go through the news stories that had piled up on my Google reader since the last time I opened it. In an effort to get all of the world news out of the way before I clicked on my Awkward Family Photos tab, I sleepily clicked on the CNN tab. The first headline that appeared almost made me spit out apple chunks all over the screen:

The scary trend of tweens with anorexia.

What?

Not even 24 hours after I learned about the children dying of starvation in Somalia, I read about kids, kids, in America falling victim to dangerous eating disorders as young as seven years old. God! Why? But they’re just children!

There are children starving to death all around the world because they physically do not have access to food or clean water, and in America, kids are doing it on purpose. Their mental states have become so fearful of becoming “fat” that they go to scary lengths to avoid it. Oh my, God! What is wrong with American society? What are we, as parents, as teachers, as members of the media, as mentors, as fellow human beings, saying to our children to cause this? What could we do to change this? We can’t let this happen anymore! They’re just children!

SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE. It all starts with you, and me, and what we tell our children. That they’re loved. That they’re valuable. That they’re smart. They’re talented. They’re beautiful. They’re fearfully and wonderfully made. They are worth more than this broken world would have them believe they are.

I don’t know what else to say about this. I’m just really sad.

tuesday tip — shift your focus.

We all have those days. I have them. You have them. I’m willing to bet that even the most beautiful and confident woman in the world (Kate Middleton, obvs) has them.

Days where no matter what we do with our hair, make up, fashion, whatever, our appearance is our enemy.

These days can take a myriad of forms. Sometimes they’re “fat” days. Or “bad-hair” days. Or “stay inside and avoid human interaction” days. No matter what you call them, they suck. If you’re anything like me, you tend to fixate on these problems, making your days excruciatingly difficult to get through.

The good news, though, is that these days don’t have to suck so badly. Despite the fact that your skinny jeans are sitting this week out, and that your anti-acne cleanser seems to have turned against you, and that the left side of your hair has been flat for no reason this week, you can make it through. I promise.

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: SHIFT YOUR FOCUS.

Photo Credit: Ashley Poole Photography

The best medicine for a “crap” day is to shift your focus to something your body can do, versus what your body looks like.  Here are some ways to kick the “crap” day blues:

  1. GO ON A WALK and focus on the fact that you have strong legs that can take you anywhere.
  2. PAINT A PICTURE (even if you wouldn’t call yourself an “artist”) and focus on your body’s innate ability to create.
  3. LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE BAND and focus on the fact that your body allows you to hear and appreciate music. Added bonus: dance, and be grateful for your body’s ability to move.
  4. CALL A FRIEND just to tell her you that you love her, and let her tell you she loves you back, and remember that this is true no matter how you feel about yourself on any given day. Added bonus: meet up with your friend and use your strong, beautiful arms to hug her.
  5. HOLD A TODDLER because seriously, how can that not make you appreciate how beautiful life is?

These are just a few of the many ways you can shift your focus onto something more positive, something more true, something more praiseworthy. I know that everyone’s different, though. (For instance, holding a toddler might make some of you reading this want to kill said toddler. That’s not productive, is it?)

So tell me — what works for you? On your “crap” days, what are some things you can do to shift your focus back to the truth? Comment and let me know!