- 16th April
- 23rd March
A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon with my friend Andy at Evolve Spa to have some Hollywood Glamour shots done. We’ve been talking about doing it for a long time, and our schedules finally aligned. Prior to the big day, I reviewed some websites for inspiration. Andy has been working on perfecting this style of photo for several months, drawing inspiration from George Hurrell, a photographer who basically invented the Hollywood Glamour shot. Andy has grown comfortable with the style and is launching a new segment of his business to offer these types of shots to the public.
Here’s how it worked:
I reviewed the websites and chose a few styles I liked. Andy’s project coordinator, Suzy, sent the shots to the folks at Evolve for inspiration. She also talked me through clothing choices to maximize the look. I chose a plain black dress, so the focus could remain on hair and makeup. The day of the shoot, I showed up at Evolve with clean hair and face. The stylists were wonderful. The hair portion took about an hour as she rolled my hair up hot rollers, then I went for makeup. I don’t wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, so this was a new experience for me. They even airbrushed the foundation and eyebrows on! After makeup, I went back to hair to be styled. She removed the rollers, teased me up and applied a ton of hairspray. I changed clothes and headed to the studio Andy had set up in another room. The shoot took only 20 minutes, and Andy walked me through all the poses and coached me through facial expressions. The entire process took 2.5 hours.
Andy turned the photos around in less than 24 hours and I was astounded. What a wonderful transformation. What a fun experience.
If you want to see more samples of Andy’s work or schedule a session, check out his website.
- 25th February
I can hear the collective gasps from many of my friends. Bear with me. I am currently reading “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura. I picked it up in the Kindle store for $1.99, so I thought I’d check it out.
Dr. Laura contends that the feminist movement has done nothing but destroy marriages by empowering women to “have it all” at the expense of their families. I know. It seems extreme- it’s counter-intuitive.
Can we have it all? A successful career, various volunteer roles and activities, AND a fulfilling marriage? We’ve been taught to believe we can.
Dr. Laura also argues that the feminist movement, in pursuit of having it all, has created a generation of self-centered, selfish, and sometimes downright mean women who treat their husbands like crap and don’t appreciate them.
I have to admit that this was hard to read. Just as many of her female callers fight back when she makes these claims, I felt a wave of resistance sweeping over me. How dare she! I should be able to have it all. That’s what I’ve been taught since I was a little girl. I could do anything I wanted to do. I can be anything I want to be. I can have anything I want to have.
So I worked hard to fight back my internal resistance. I read. I listened. I absorbed. And, staring into the mirror, knowing full well my own marriage has seen rocky times, I had to ask myself, were the feminists wrong?
How many times have I made my husband feel less important than my job, my volunteer roles, my extracurricular activities? More times than I can count.
What are your thoughts?
- 31st December
As I explained in last year’s Resolutions post, I am one of “those.” I make resolutions each year… sometimes they roll over year after year and sometimes new ones roll on. I still believe the acts of self reflection and goal setting are successes in themselves.
Looking back on last year’s resolutions, I went about 50/50.
I did read more. My goal was 2-3 books per month and I came in at 2.75 per month. Here’s the full list- 33 books in all.
Sadly, I didn’t learn to knit. I met with Ashley once to learn, but never followed through- this one is staying on the list this year.
I did go the gym regularly, though not 4-5 times per week. I averaged 3 times per week, but I did become a runner this year, logging 154 miles.
My 4th resolution last year was to be more aware… of myself and others. I struggled with this one, but I think I managed to do better than I have in the past.
Number five was a biggie- Focus on my priorities. I stepped away from a few volunteer roles and a few freelance opportunities in order to focus on those things that really matter to me, but I still have work to do here.
And lastly, be a better wife. I made strides in improving my communication, but I still have a long way to go in becoming a better partner.
1- Read more: specifically 4-5 books per month, 48-60 books total. This will require less TV time and a more concentrated effort to fill down time with reading. If you have book suggestions, send them my way!
2- Learn to knit. I can do it this year. I know I can.
3- Keep focusing on running, which includes training for and running the Indy Mini. I have signed up, so now I just need to push myself to keep training. I’d also like to hit 430 miles next year. If I run at least 3 miles, 3 times per week, every week for a year, I can hit this goal!
4- Be more aware… of myself and of others. I’m keeping this one on the list because it needs constant attention.
5- Focus on my priorities. This one stays too. I am still doing too much. I’d rather do a few things really well than many things just so-so. And until I get my next resolution right, this one needs to stay.
6- Be a better wife. I am still too defensive. I am still too selfish. I have lots of work to do on communication. I am taking it one day at a time.
Happy New Year, friends. I’d love to hear about your resolutions!
- 21st December
In all things, Amber, always and forever, simply wish the best for all involved, without stating what you think that is. And then, whatever does happen, no matter what happens, know that it was.
All the best,
- 13th December
- 30th November
- 19th November
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Thanks for sharing this today Jenna!
- 15th November
As a follow up to yesterday’s post, let’s talk about boundaries.
It may have sounded like I was blaming social media for feeling alienated. That’s not true. Social media is not to blame. I am. When I say I was sucked into the social media vortex, it means I didn’t shut my phone off when I got home in order to spend quality time with my husband; I didn’t put it away when having dinner with friends because I was too worried I’d miss a Tweet or a Facebook comment; I didn’t look my co-workers in the eye when they were speaking to me because I had to keep one eye on my social stream. Yes, these are regular occurrences. Yes, typing them makes me realize just how ridiculous it is.
I didn’t set boundaries. And guess what? I’ve never been good at setting them. It’s not just social media. It extends into every aspect of my life, and I can trace it back as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with sports. They consumed me, pushing out everything and everyone else. The same is true when I joined Roller Derby. For five years, building that league and skating were my life. There are countless examples.
The reason I get consumed by these activities is a topic for another post, but for now, I am recognizing the pattern and trying to make a change. I am not deleting my accounts and shunning social media, but I am going to set some boundaries. I should have done it a long time ago.
- 14th November
It’s no secret. I spend a lot of time on various social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest… you get the picture. I use social media for work. I use social media for personal interests and entertainment. Sometimes I use it for no reason at all; simply to use it. It has become an integral part of my life. And at first, it was awesome. It connected me to old friends and introduced me to new friends. It helped me discover new interests and fall head-over-heels in love with my community. It was a spark that lit some of my passions on fire. I felt embraced and so I embraced it back without abandon.
But an odd feeling has been creeping over me the past several months. I’ve been feeling a strange sense of alienation. I am more connected, yet feel more alone. I have more acquaintances and fewer friends. Acquaintances are great. I can reach out to them for coffee or lunch, swap ideas, and truly enjoy the conversation, but a friend is someone I can call on a Sunday morning when I’m crumpled on the floor in a pool of my own used tissues. Yes, this happens sometimes. We all need friends. I’ve gotten away from mine, and for this, I am sorry. I should have seen it coming. I didn’t. I got sucked into the social media vortex and it’s time to get out.
Starting today, I am shifting my focus. As long as it’s around, social media will always play a role in my professional and personal life, but I won’t let it hover dangerously close to being my life. As it turns out, that’s no life at all.