Thursday, July 31, 2014

On Body Image

(Image via)

I have never been a small person. I was born average and proceeded to be off the charts the rest of my life. I was 5 feet tall by the end of the 4th grade. I was 5'11" by the time I was 14. I have never been small.

At age 14, I was 5'11" and weighed 145 pounds. I was a size 8 and my hip bones stuck out 2" from my body. My ribs stuck out so far from my stomach that when I woke up in the morning I somewhat resembled a greyhound. I had no ass to speak of. My breasts were barely there. I thought I was fat. No joke. I also had a BMI that was supposedly healthy for my weight- pretty much the last time that has ever been true.

Fast forward to now- 26 going on 27. I'm still 5' 11". I wear a size 12. I have a butt. I have breasts. I weigh 50 pounds more and I do not think I'm fat. Not even a little. I've got curves for days, and to be perfectly honest, I think I'm a total babe. Modesty is for jerks. 

Not only do I happen to think I look great, but I also feel healthy. I eat well. I practice self care. I even joined a gym recently, not to lose weight, but because my job is sedentary, my commute is now, too, and I want to keep feeling healthy. So. Yea.

I was recently lucky enough to have a coworker gift me some personal training sessions they weren't using. I'm a total novice when it comes to working out so I could really use the guidance. Well, my first time with this trainer, she busted out the scale, took my measurements (incorrectly, I may add. My waist is most certainly not 37". It's 32, thank you.), and "measured my body fat" with an electronic device that I assume is entirely inaccurate.

She then basically proceeded to tell me that I was fat. Not in so few words, but in terms such as "Your body fat percentage is way too high." (you know, according to some dumb electronic device). She asked me how much weight I wanted to lose and I told her that I didn't actually care about losing weight, and didn't want to weigh less than 190 because 190-195 is a really comfortable, easy to maintain weight for me. I also told her that I felt anything less than that would be hard to maintain and would really decrease my quality of life. She asked if I meant that I "just wanted to eat a lot of food." Seriously. I don't want to eat "a lot more food". I want to continue to eat the reasonable amount of food I already consume. I want to be able to not feel guilt over the things I eat. I want to not live at the gym. I want to not be obsessing over a measly 5 pounds that won't make me look ANY different. I value my mental health as much as my physical health and obsessing over my weight isn't going to do me any good.

So, personal trainer, fuck you. Not for making me sweat my ass off or for making me sore for three days, but for trying to tear apart a healthy body image that I've spent years building up, all for the sake of a few pounds.

Don't ever let anyone tell you what your body "should" look like. It's your body. It's your home. Love it and accept it, and treat it well. Your health is about the big picture, not just a number on the scale.


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Monday, July 28, 2014

A Breezy Summer Wedding Look

 Glasses: BonLook
Dress: Anthropologie (old)
Belt: Target
Clutch: J. Crew

Hi guys! Yowza, it was a busy weekend! I kicked it off with a personal trainer appointment (not my favorite thing- you'll be getting an earful about that later this week), made brunch with my friend Levi, celebrated my dad's birthday with mini golf and lunch, and attended the wedding of my dear friends, Sam and Megan.

Sam and Megan have been together for about 7 years and I'm so thrilled that they were finally able to tie the knot. I'm so happy and proud to live in a state that recognizes that love is love, and allows these two amazing people to spend the rest of their lives together and not having to worry about having the rights to see each other through the hard times as well as the very best times.

The wedding itself was on Saturday evening at the Center for Wooden Boats. The weather could not have been more perfect, and the setting was too gorgeous for words. Watching them get married right on the water in such a beautiful Seattle setting brought a couple of extra tears to my eye for sure! After the ceremony (during which, I obviously cried my eyes out), we feasted on an amazing meal, made merry, and danced the night away. It was such a wonderful evening!

Since it was such a gorgeous summer day, I talked myself out of the sequined dress I was originally inclined to wear, and wore this gorgeous, breezy silk number. While the lighting and the focus in these photos isn't stellar, these are some of my favorite photos to date. The light silk material of this dress gives it amazing movement, and the print and cut out details really make it something special. I loved looking through these photos and watching the movement of the dress in the summer breeze.

Along with the dress itself I wore my new BonLook glasses, which I'm crazy about, my favorite black braided belt, the clutch I got on super sale at J.Crew before the last wedding I attended, and these gorgeous Swedish Hasbeens clogs. Unlike the last wedding I attended, I figured out this outfit the day of the wedding, so I was very pleased that it came together so well- even if I had to do a bit of MacGyver-ing to get my slip to stay in place!

All in all, it was a really wonderful weekend. I'm happy I got to be present for the marriage of two of the best people I know and wish them all the best. Congratulations, Megan and Sam!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wishing For... A Pretty New Bag!

As you can see, I am seriously lusting after bags right now! My trusty bag that I've had for the last 6 years is now in a state of disrepair- the lining is ripped, the leather is getting worn, and the stitching is coming apart. While I may be able to do some minor repairs, I think largely it's just time for me to get a new bag. The one I've been lugging around this summer (you've seen it here and here), simply was not made for the wear and tear I subject accessories to, so I'm looking for a new trusty sidekick. Here are some of the contenders:

1. This bag from ModCloth looks AWESOME. As you can see, I'm clearly into bags made from a combination of fabric and leather. This one rocks the canvas and leather look, has a detachable strap, and has a whole bunch of pockets inside. I pretty much automatically freak any time my chapstick or keys get lost in the bottom of my bag so pockets are key!

2. Another leather and canvas bag, this time from the Moorea Seal online store. I don't know how I haven't made it to her brick and mortar store in Seattle yet, but I'll do it one of these days! Anyway, I love the rivets on this one and think the proportions are just stellar.

3. While I think this bag would end up soaking wet a lot of the time, I am SO in love with this plaid wool  and leather tote by Drifter Bags from Urban Outfitters. You may not know it, but I'm a total sucker for red plaid. Seriously. It gets me every time. I kinda just want to curl up and take a nap with this one. Is that weird? Yea, it's kind of weird. 

4. I also totally dig this canvas tote by Poler Stuff from Close By. It seems so SO perfect for summer adventures. And fall adventures. Ok, all the adventures all the time. Also, bonus points, my friend from high school, Zack, started this awesome shop. Go check out all the things!

5. Guhhhhhhhhhhh. This Madewell bag is too dreamy for words. It makes me want to put on a plaid flannel button up shirt and high waisted jeans and channel my inner 1970s outdoorsy dreamboat. I almost bought this bag in person over the weekend, but I'm not-so-secretly hoping it will go on sale first. It's just so good.

6. Last but not least, this messenger bag by United by Blue from Urban Outfitters. I adore the forest green color, the leather details, and the fact the canvas is waxed so it's a touch water resistant.

Alright, buddies, which one is your favorite? Also, do I have Pacific Northwest-y taste in bags or what? Sheesh.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Rainy Summer Days

Hair Clips: Anthropologie
Sweater: Gap (ages ago!) / Similar
Jeans: Urban Outfitters / Similar
Shoes: Rocketdog / Similar

Jeans? Wet hair? Water drops on my glasses and clothes? Wet ground? Ah, must be summer in Seattle. After a pretty big (for here) heat wave, things have cooled way down and we even got a fair amount of rain on Sunday! It's funny to go from swimming in the lake one day to bundling up and wishing you had your umbrella a few short days later.

This weekend was pretty quiet, which was much needed after having a busy couple of weeks. My grandma had her heart surgery a couple of weeks ago, and it went very well, which was a relief. Unfortunately, a bunch of family drama came up during that time, but everyone is healthy and everything seems to have resolved as best as it could.

This week, I kicked off the week with a bachelorette party for my friends Sam and Megan, who are getting married this weekend! Along with about 12 other people, we rode the Cycle Saloon around Ballard. It was hilarious and way more fun than I expected. Tuesday I took in a showing of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou at a local theatre; Wednesday I went swimming; Thursday I had dinner with my friend, Jeremy; and Friday I went to my parents' house to watch some old home movies I hadn't seen in years.

Needless to say, after all that hubbub, I had a reallllllly lazy Saturday. I honestly just laid in bed watching movies, cuddling with the cats, and napping all day. It. Was. Awesome. My favorite thing I watched that day was a documentary about Kathleen Hanna called, The Punk Singer. It was SO good. She is such an awesome, influential woman and has really affected my brand of feminism over the years.

Sunday I met up with Katie for some shopping and blog photos. The morning was pretty dry, but we were out of luck by the time we were ready to take photos. As you can see, we got quite wet!

Anyway, those are the updates for now!

What have you guys been up to lately?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

How Do You Deal?

Hi guys! Today I'm excited to be a part of a new series on Kate's blog, Clear the Way. She's created a sub-series of her Feminist Friday series called "How Do you Deal?" and today the conversation is "How Do you Deal with Leering?"

Being a feminist is a big part of who I am, so I've been wanting to be involved with more conversations about feminism in the blogosphere. I'm excited that Kate has created such a great space for these conversations and excited to contribute to them going forward. I'm also super honored to have been included in the series that so many amazing women are contributing to.

Stop by Clear the Way today to check out the post!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Raspberry Trifle

Hi guys! As you may recall from my post earlier this week, I picked a whole bunch of raspberries over the weekend. 8 lbs of them, to be exact! While normally I'd have all sorts of plans for jam and baked goods, it has been a hot, hot week in Seattle, so I am not about to turn my oven or stove on!

So, I spent a day or so racking my brain, trying to think what sort of tasty no-bake treat I could make. Well, after some serious time on Pinterest, and some serious time spent thinking of all the no-bake things I've ever made, I came up with this: Raspberry Trifle inspired by the Magnolia Bakery banana pudding recipe and made with waffles (aka the best food ever)!

Seriously, ya'll, this is so good. Sweet, creamy, tart, and rich, but still refreshing! Oh, and did I mention that you don't even have to turn your oven on?

Here's how we roll:

Raspberry Trifle: Serves 6-10

- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
- Half of a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk (7oz total)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 6-8 frozen waffles, thawed or toasted, then ripped into smaller pieces
- 4 cups fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish

1. Whisk together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk in a medium bowl. Once well combined, put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream. Once it's basically unsweetened whipped cream, fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until it's well incorporated.

3. In a large bowl (a trifle bowl if you're fancy!), assemble the trifle. Put down a layer of waffle pieces, then add a layer of raspberries, followed by a layer of the pudding mixture. Repeat until your bowl is full or you've run out of ingredients, but be sure the top layer is covered well with the pudding mixture. It's not structurally important or anything, but it sure is pretty that way!

4. Garnish the top of the trifle with raspberries, chill for at least 30 minutes, and then serve!
Seriously, could that be any easier? And you guys. It is SO good. I definitely couldn't wait longer than half an hour to dig into this beauty, but if you have the willpower to let it sit a bit longer, your patience will pay off. Once it's sits over night, or even over two nights, the flavors start to meld and the waffles somehow become some sort of magic cake made by angels. Yep.

Anyway, I hope you can try out this awesome no-bake recipe soon- it's so, so tasty and a real treat to put together on a hot summer day.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Raspberry Picking at Harvold Berry Farm

On Saturday, my dear friend Ivy and I loaded up her car and drove out to Harvold Berry Farm in Carnation to pick raspberries. Saturday was the hottest day we've had all year in Seattle and it was already about 80 degrees by the time we got to the fields at 10am. We drank in the sweet smell of the berries and picked and picked until our containers were full and heavy and we had sweat rolling down our backs. And faces. And legs. And everywhere. Ugh, it was hot! When all was said and done, we picked about 8 lbs each- 16 lbs between the two of us! And yes, I stupidly wore white, but managed to make it through the day without getting even a small spot of raspberry juice on it. Success!

While we picked raspberries,  Ivy and I chatted about how much we each dreamed of having some farmland someday, and realized how good of a picking team we were! Ivy is a good 9" shorter than I am, so she took all the berries at the bottom of the bushes and I grabbed all the ones from the top. Teamwork!

After throwing our berries in the cooler, we grabbed some lunch and headed to the beach for a much needed swim in Lake Washington. It was actually my first swim of the year, and could not have been more wonderful. By that point it was well into the 90s and the cool water was such a relief from the heat. Every time I got cold in the water, I reminded myself that it might be the only time I would be cool all day, so I tried to enjoy every moment!

It was a pretty perfect summer day and I can't wait to keep stuffing my face with berries. I hope to figure out some kind of dreamy no-bake recipe to make with my raspberries, because lord knows I'm not about to turn on my oven in this kind of heat. If I figure one out, I'll be sure to share it later this week!

Do you have any favorite raspberry recipes?

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Trip to Colorado

Hi guys! Today I'm finally getting around to sharing some snapshots from my family's trip to Colorado a couple of weeks ago for my cousin's wedding! Please forgive the quality of some of the photos- my old iPhone can only do so much!

The above photo was taken on our ride from the airport to our hotel. I honestly can't get over how gorgeous Colorado is. Despite my Aunt and her family living there pretty much my whole life, I had never managed to visit before. I'm so glad this lovely occasion finally brought me out there! Our first night we spent some time with family and then hit the hay- it was a long day of travel.
My mom and I were both determined to keep up with our exercise routines when we were on our trip and headed out for a walk near our hotel the morning after we arrived. I was (breathlessly- altitude, whew!) noting all the pretty birds native to the area, and then thought I saw a bunny. But that was no bunny- it was a prairie dog!!! My mom and I proceeded to squeal like idiots for a full 5 minutes at how cute these little guys were, making ourselves completely obvious as tourists. Apparently the folks of Colorado don't appreciate the damage these cute little dudes can do to their land and houses, but we still thought they were adorable!
Later that day, my family and I headed to the natural history museum. We checked out all sorts of awesome gems and minerals, animal dioramas, and fossils, and took advantage of some good photo-ops! You can see I got a kick out of being a (blurry) moose, and my whole family hammed it up by this T-rex skull. We were laughing so hard at these photos we may have caused a bit of a ruckus!

After the museum we headed over to visit with more family and friends. It was so nice catching up with my relatives and hearing all about what they've been getting up to lately.
The next morning, we went for a long walk at a gorgeous state park, where we saw cacti, snakes, birds, and gorgeous rock formations. After thoroughly tiring ourselves out, we had lunch with our extended family and then headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the wedding.

The wedding itself was at a gorgeous country club with those gorgeous red rocks as the backdrop to the ceremony. The wedding had all sorts of gorgeous details like the amazing wooden place cards my cousin, Joy, created. She's so incredibly talented, it blows me away! I managed to save the day when the bustle on my cousin's wedding dress broke (I knew my time working at a bridal boutique would come in handy someday!); cried my eyes out during the father daughter dance (as usual. Sigh); and danced my butt off. As you can see, my family couldn't get enough of our T-rex poses, so here we are, at it again, in formal attire. We crack ourselves up :)

After the wedding, we headed back to the hotel, said goodbyes to our extended family, packed, and got a few hours of sleep before heading back to Seattle first thing in the morning the next day.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip and so nice to see all my family together- especially for such a joyous occasion!

Til next time!

Monday, July 7, 2014

An Outfit for the Wedding

(Photos by Joy Vanides)

Glasses: BonLook / Similar
Necklace: Vintage / Similar
Dress: Boden
Belt: Target
Clutch: J. Crew

Hi guys! Sorry things were a little quiet around here last week- I majorly underestimated how tired I was from traveling and ended up going to bed real early a couple nights last week. It was also a busy week at work since it was a short one, and I kept quite busy over the long weekend!

So! This week, I'm finally getting around to posting about my trip to Colorado for my cousin's wedding. Ya'll, Colorado is gorgeous! Do you see those amazing rocks back there? That was the backdrop for my cousin's wedding. Could it have been any prettier? We also got lucky and had beyond gorgeous weather while we were there, so it couldn't have been a more perfect day for a wedding.

I don't know about you guys, but I tend to massively overthink what I'm going to wear to a wedding. I started getting this outfit together like, 3 months ahead of time, when I ordered this gorgeous printed dress from Boden. I had actually bought it just as a nice summer dress, but when I finally got it, I knew it was wedding outfit material. That, of course, meant I had to hide it away in my closet this whole time. Hey, what can I say? Sometimes a gal is prone to spilling on important articles of clothing! The same went for these gorgeous Swedish Hasbeens clogs. I ordered them, realized they'd go perfectly with the dress, and had to hide them away in my house for a couple of months. Ya'll, I've been ruining shoes in no time since I learned to walk. No, I'm not exaggerating- my mom tells me I wore through most of my baby shoes! I had to keep these puppies safe!

Well, before you guys start to think I'm some amazing planner and had this whole thing figured out months ahead of time, I can assure you that I spent a few hours running around town the night before we flew out trying to get everything together. I must say, it was a pretty fortuitous shopping trip: I found the perfect black cardigan (not pictured), which happened to be the very last one AND my size; I went to the store to buy some little pads for my shoes and was told they were out of every kind EXCEPT for the exact ones I needed; I found the perfect slipshorts to wear under this dress (Hey, some of us never have had and never will have a thigh gap. These things are necessary when rocking bare legs.); AND on a last ditch effort to find a clutch, I found this gorgeous number from J.Crew at my local store for 75% off! YASSSSSSSS! I wrapped up the outfit with a set of pearls I've had for ages, and this belt I picked up a few weeks ago.

All in all, it was a perfect outfit for the wedding. Cool enough to withstand the heat, great for dancing (which I did A LOT of), and super comfy!

Do you guys have any awesome tricks for planning your wedding outfits or are you running around like a madwoman at the last minute like I am?

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