Monday, December 22, 2014

Advice I'm Calling Bullshit On.

Life is a complex thing, we are all doing it, but some people are just a whole lot better at it. You know the ones, they seem to always it together. They are enjoying the best of both worlds, all the green grass, & of course they eat all the cake they want & it doesn't go to their ass. It never goes to their ass.
The majority of my life I was annoyed by these people, I rolled my eyes every time they opened their mouths. Everything they did became a pet peeve. Skin crawling, blood boiling, eye rolling pet peeve. These people did nothing to me directly. I was just a hater. 
Until recently. 
Recently I had a revelation & I didn't need to go all Eat, Pray, Love to get there. 
The difference between myself & the certain archetype of assholes mentioned above, is this...
I have taken all of the bad advice I have ever been given & listened to it. They didn't. I ignored all of the substantial life hacks, tips, tricks, & mantras that actually could of amounted to something & they didn't. 

Then I approached the mid-revelation state of my existence.
Mid-revelation,is usually the comforting place where I say screw it & return to my previous non-revelation having state as quickly as Britney shaved her head during that mid-life crisis. I decided to stick with this particular revelation, as I did I realized, my issue is not so much with the perfect, never had lipstick on their teeth humans. It's actually with the people who give bullshit advice. 
The people who read the advice columns & can repeat them verbatim at brunch as if they invented the damn Dear Abby obsession. At first they always seem empathetic to your problems, "Oh I understand," "I've been there," & multiple other lines of crap spew smoothly from their perfect pouts. 
These are the people who I have decided to be forever irritated with. If I was up for it I would also continue to blame them for all of my life problems. It would be so much easier that way. But thanks to some New Years resolutions I scribbled on a napkin circa 2008, I've given up that life. I take responsibility for my embarrassing moments, mistakes, missteps & my bangs. Since I can't play the blame game, I'm going to decimate the bullshit advice these people frequently administer when you're feeling low. I might even give you some tips on how to spot an Advice-Bullshiter so that you can avoid them during this holiday season & beyond. 

Of course to make this worthy of being on the internet I turned to Pinterest to find some real gems of advice. 

1.) The "it is what it is" mantra or "what will be will be" bullshit.
At the root of all of us, we have this control, this powerful, intense, control. Yet, bullshit advice givers will tell you that you have to just stop thinking about it, you have to just let it be what it is. You have no control, because, it is what it is. I'm here to tell you that it is time to say fuck-that-shit & go get what you want. 
You want those fresh Krispy Kreme donuts when they are fresh & hot? Then you get your yoga pants wearing,4 days since you washed your hair, yesterday's mascara on your under-eyes sporting ass out of bed & you go get them. You want to make a life change, think about it, think about it a lot,make your decision & then do it. Don't wait for the universe to spit out a plan for you. Over-think, analyze, imagine & then go fucking do it. 

2.) The About Teenage Boys Advice.
These little tidbits of advice crap are constantly showing their stupid faces. From Pinterest to Tumblr, they are shared, liked, reposted, blogged & potentially considered to be acceptable. I'll admit, this one above isn't advice per-say. But it is perpetuating a certain type of behavior that I have been mighty fed up with for a long time. Girls, stop trying to be desirable to a point where you are sacrificing who you are. Don't dumb yourself down or act like an airhead just to get some dudes attention. Please, do not waste your time on some guy who gets his advice from his pack of equally stupid brethren. A guy who is worth your time will know exactly what he wants & he will be capable of communicating that to you. If he can't, well, you're about to spend the next 5-7 years watching Ice Road Trucker re-runs & wishing you had never gotten those bangs. 

3.) The "let it go" or forget in order to move on bullshit.
Here's the deal. Shitty people are going to do shitty things to you. You are probably going to do shitty things to undeserving people a time or two as well. That is the brutal truth of surviving past the 1st grade, someone is always going to be the asshole & most of us are always going to be trying to move on from their torment. 
You have to move on. You do not, however, have to forget it happened. Someone did something awful to you, remember how it felt, remember how YOU felt, & for goodness sakes, do not forget it so that you can be aware the next time someone else comes along to mess up your life. 
If you do something terrible to another person, have the decency to apologize & make amends. Don't just carry on as if you didn't pull a douche-bag move & all is fine. Own up to your own brand of bad behavior & fix it. Bob the Builder that shit & then you can move on.

4.) This.
You cannot please everyone. Hell, you can't please a third of the people you are going to meet. Everyone has their own expectations & desires. It is not your duty to make sure everyone is 100% satisfied all of the time. Do not live your life in fear of someone talking smack about you. Life your life in a way that everyone has something to say about you. Make waves. Raise a few eyebrows. Get your hands dirty. You know all those cliches about breaking the mold & being who you are... Do those things & just accept the fact that we all talk shit about each other, all the time. It's cathartic. Just be prepared to have to repeat everything you say about someone behind their back to their face. Or passively post about it on the internet & call it writing. Not that I have any experience in that department. 

5.) The Love Advice.
Oh for the love. Unless you want to be living like a step-ford bot for the rest of your existence you're going to have to love with a little tenacity. I've apologized 7 times today. In fact, the only phrase Justin has probably heard more than "Are you fucking kidding me?"  in the last six years is "I'm Sorry." 
No matter how much you love someone, if you are capable of making a genuine human mistake you're going to have to be capable of apologizing too. It is one of the most gentle forms of humanity you can extend to another person. Just to admit you were wrong, a little bit, is healing to whom ever is the object of your affection. Apologize, damn it,& all of the assholes who go on hurting the rest of us may not exist in such a large amount. 

Now that we have covered the types of bullshit advice you're likely to be given, let's talk about how to spot & avoid the people who are going to be handing out this advice. 

1.) The high school aquantiance that still lives in your hometown & still has bad bangs. You will find these people at your younger siblings sports games, tournaments & functions. Especially around home coming. See, it's hard to gain perspective on life when you haven't even left your backyard. They tend to give advice on how to make substantial life changes while munching on pep rally popcorn. Avoid them. Just do it.

2.) The my-parents paid for college but I totally get student loans asshole. We all have this person in our life. Honestly, we've kept them around longer than we should have because the are always clutch to pay the over priced bar tab at our annual get togethers. They will lecture you on the best way to pay down that debt & how you should of negotiated for a better interest rate in the first place. Imagine punching them in the face & order another round of overpriced drinks. Feel instantly more comfortable with that 11.9% interest rate from that state school you hated anyway.

3.) The ex-boyfriend who is always available to help you move your couch. These ones become a little more rare as we grow up. You can't exactly have an ex coming over to rearrange your bookshelves when you've gotten married. If you've still got this guy hanging around, I'll let you decide if their advice is sound or not. You know they are going to tell you all the ways you are oh so fantastic & any guy would be great to have you...blah, blah, bullshit. This dude probably dumped you because he couldn't handle commitment but here he is watching movies with you every other Friday night. Kick that mother-fucker out & go get yourself a date with a guy who is ready to move beyond futons & x-box.

4.) The appealingly selfless, mothering type. These ones, they do everything for your group of friends. Constantly checking up on you & asking probing questions about your relationships, drinking habits &  silently judging your Netflix queue. They give overly sweetened doses of advice & it's always coated with some heart piercing criticism. "It is so not your fault he turned out to be an jerk, but if you didn't wear such low cut shirts you might find a nicer, quality guy." Put self tanner that is at least 3 shades too dark for this particular advice giver in their current bottle. Be sure to pass advice to them about testing products on a small area before going all out when trying a new product.

5.) The indecisive advice givers. "Maybe you should try this, no try that. I'm not really sure what I would do in your situation, but I think that, maybe you could just, um..." Sound familiar? Stop going to these people for advice! Just put your pensive thoughts into a Magic 8 Ball from now on. You will probably get further & make better decisions. 

Well, to those of you who have stuck with me to this point. Congratulations. 
You have now read another random persons brand of advice on the internet. I hope that in some ways this has helped you see the error in listening to every single piece of advice out there. I really hope, that you realized that the whole point of this is that you need to just do whatever the fuck it is that you want to do & quit waiting around for someone to give you advice on how to do it. 
You are your own unique, brilliant, awesome person & anything is possible if you stop letting yourself be bogged down by bullshit advice & opinions from outspoken assholes. Not everyone has your best intentions at heart & some people will purposefully say things to hurt or discourage you. They do not deserve your time, your thoughts or the joy of continuing to know you. Cut them from your life & go be exactly who you want to be. 
Or, come hang out with me. I'll never tell you who to be, I'll leave that up to you. 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Name Your Color | Spenard Builder Supply & PPG Voice of Color Contest |

Name Your Color
If you are anything like me home renovations & improvements are always on your mind. I constantly look for inspiration for our home, from magazines & Pinterest, to renovation shows & my favorite movies, I love gathering inspiration. 
One of my biggest sources of inspiration when starting to plan for our major home renovations is our home, Alaska. Every time I step out of my door I'm touched with so many thing that are beautiful. Just this morning I saw one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have ever seen & instantly I thought that those colors would be perfect accents for a crisp white office. Inspiring, vibrant, & awakening. 
It seems I'm not the only one inspired by the beauty that surrounds us here in Alaska as Spaniard Builder Supply (SBS) has partnered with PPG paint to create 6 Alaska-themed paint palettes. A couple of the shades of paint in each palette are missing names, this is where YOU come in! Whoever comes up with the most fitting names for the missing shades will win some amazing prizes! 
There will be a link to enter at the bottom of this post & for those of you who are close to an SBS location you can also enter in store. If you are interested in entering, the contest closes tomorrow! 
I really love the shades in the Coastal Sunset Collection & I think it would be perfect for our master bedroom/bathroom. The colors are all neutral toned with enough brightness to make the room feel open & calming. I also really love Neutral Landscapes, of course because it has amazing neutral toned shades. ;) I think the shades in Summer Meadow are wonderful & I'm reconsidering the shades I've picked for the girls future bedrooms. The 5th shade reminds me of the fields of fireweed that bloom throughout Alaska in the summer time. 
What are you waiting for? I could ramble about paint shades & inspiration all day long! Go put your creative selves to use & enter this contest. Post a comment below of your favorite of the collections, shades & the names you come up with! 

Enter the contest here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

12 Things I've Learned Through Motherhood

Lessons in Motherhood
Oh, the journey that is motherhood. Does anyone else feel like they are on a roller coaster covered in peanut butter & jelly being operated by the cast of Frozen? No? Just me... Well alright then.
Lately, I have had some spare time to sort my thoughts & I thought I would share them with all of you. This post is brought to you by the public education system, since I now have about 8 hours of time without my little wolves. Without that time to myself, I think that I would probably be writing about the same thing, but the teachers & school staff that are spending so much time with my wolves, impress me everyday. The kids LOVE their school & come home filled to the brim with things to chat with me about & they wake up every morning so thrilled to be able to head off to another day of school.
Basically, my thoughts are actually somewhat sorted now thanks to the kids being off in school filling their brains with lessons & fun things. So, more motherhood posts are coming your way since I have more time to think & reflect on this journey I'm on!
1. I do not go to every, activity, meeting, or whatever else, is going on at the kids school. With the public education system, I feel like schools try to show how great they are by hosting multiple activities a week. From PTO meetings to showing movies on Friday nights, our school has SO much going on all the time. Last year, I spent so much of the year being racked with guilt about not going to everything that I gave myself an anxiety attack over a Friday night movie. It was a movie the kids had already seen, we had a snowmachine race the following day & our entire house had the flu 48 hours before hand. For some reason, I lost my grip on reality over a movie being shown in an elementary school gymnasium. After it was over, I realized that being able to attend every, single, thing, at the school would not define my as a good mother. I do enjoy being involved with the school & helping out when I can, but just because I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I DO NOT need to be at the school daily... I still feel slightly guilty about not being more involved with the PTO again this year, but I've got to stop letting that get to me.

2. Kids with dirty faces makes me boil. Oh, they beauty of parenthood. With 3 kids under the age of 8, someone, somehow, always has a dirty face. Whether it is literally, dirt, or food, or stray boogers or of my children has something living on their face. It makes me CRAZY! I'm obsessive with wiping their faces or sending them to wash their faces, or the dreaded...lick my thumb & wipe whatever it is off of them. Sometimes, I want to wipe the faces of children I see in restaurants, Target or anywhere...

3. I'm addicted to building LEGO sets. On any night after the kids have gone to bed, there is a chance that I'm playing with LEGOS. I really love to build them & place them on the kids desks or at their spots at the table to surprise them in the morning.
4. Pain is LEGOS. Stepping on LEGOS is a level of torture that should be saved for shoplifters & people who do their kids homework for them.

5. I want to cry every time one of my kids says, "You're the best mom" or "Mom, you're my favorite mom" or "I just think you're the best mom, Mom." I often struggle with the idea that I'm rubbish at being a mother. I have spent many nights laying awake in bed contemplating every single decision I made involving the kids that day. My kids are so bluntly honest with how they feel about people, so when they say those things to me I know that they really mean it & it makes me feel so wonderful.

6. Messes are not the worst thing to happen. Here's the deal, my house is never going to be spotless. At any given moment someone is making a mess & I can't clean it up before someone else makes another mess. Although, keeping a neater house is something I'm trying to improve this year, I'm not going to lose it every time someone spills an entire bucket of toys on the floor or pulls out 50 books that I just put away & organized by color.

7. Living life with routines, is crucial. To say that I did what I wanted & lived by the seat of my pants pre-motherhood, is quite an understatement. While I've always loved a good plan, I have always been terrible at sticking to a routine of my own. Thanks to motherhood, routines are not my own, they are dictated by the 3 little wolves whom I love so much. If routines are not stuck to, if books are not read before bed, if blankets are not tucked in in proper order, melt downs occur, little wolf rage spills out & I have to use my mommy-monster voice just to get some control back.

8. Motherhood has brought out a better, more creative, side of me. I have enjoyed DIY projects for as long as I can remember. But with having children, I can come up with any craft project or Pinterest inspired fail & someone is happy. When glitter spills all over the floor or hot glue burns 5 layers of skin off of my finger, someone laughs & we create something amazing.

9. I can pack for our entire family for a long weekend within 2 hours, but I can't decided what to make for dinner for an entire week.  Many meal plans have been tried & failed in this house. I don't know if it is because of my 3 year-shortlived career in the culinary world, where meal planning was 99% of my job or if it is because I suck at keeping my own routine or what, but I can never create or stick to a successful meal plan. Go ahead, ask me whats for dinner at 3PM tomorrow, I will have NO idea.

10. An impromptu Disney dance party can fix anyones bad day. Try it, sing Let it Go at the top of your lungs, belt out any Disney classic from 90'-98', your quality of life will improve.

11. My children will suck every ounce of positivity & energy out of me. They will also drain my ability to think complete thoughts or finish a chore. I'm not sure how but things always balance back out & I end up being able to function, happily most days.

12. The kids need just as much reassurance that they are amazing, brilliant, wonderful, smart, talented, & fantastic children, as I do about my ability to be a mother. If I'm having a bad day as a mother, chances are that they are fully aware & in some way they probably feel like it is their fault. It's not. Justin is gone a lot for work & often, well, constantly, I'm trying to make up for his absence. I try to do everything & fill the void when he is away, but the truth is that I can't be a mother & a father. I have learned now to just focus on the things that I know I CAN do, & if the Justin things do not happen all the time, we will all be okay. If we have a bad day, I make it a point to tell the kids 3 extra things that I love about them before they go to bed that night. I hope it helps them release the bad day & reassure them that no matter what kind of a day we had, I absolutely, will always love them.

Those are some of the things that I have learned through my journey this far into the land of motherhood. As I was writing this I realized that there are dozens of hilarious things I have also learned from being a mother, so watch for that list sometime soon. ;) I hope all of you who are making the journey through parenthood, are off to a great day or have had a great day...depending on when you are reading this. If you aren't or if you didn't just take a deep breath, there are more hours in the day tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Plan a Shopping Trip & 7 Foundation Shopping Tips

I have a love-love-hate relationship with shopping. Over the last couple of years every time I make the trip into Anchorage to shop at the 5th Avenue Mall, I always come home with some amazing things, but I also come home without half of the things that I was intending on purchasing. 
When you find yourself online shopping as much as I do, sometimes venturing into an actual brick & mortar store can be overwhelming. I used to exclusively shop Sephora online when I first moved to Alaska because the only Sephora was inside of JC Penny. It is rather small & it always seemed to be really full of people & I experience a lot of anxiety when shopping in crowds. 
Now that there is a stand-alone style Sephora in the mall, I really enjoy going in to browse & shop. I'm also so happy that we have a Nordstrom as well, although I would not complain if Macy's decided to take over a square of Anchorage as well. ;) 
Next week, I have planned a shopping trip with a friend of mine & I'm super excited! The last time I was shopping in Anchorage was months ago, I was only able to shop for a couple of hours & I'm looking forward to having a full day of shopping. Since this trip is planned a bit in advance I want to actually plan what I will be shopping for so that I won't be coming home with bags of loot but nothing that I wanted. I'm going to break my shopping down by stores first & then include the random things that I want to keep an eye out for. 
Up first of course is Sephora! I keep a list of products, brands & new beauty stuff I want to try in a notebook, & on a note on my phone & scribbled all over random bits of paper. Seriously, I need to get some new notebooks & keep better track of my lists. Recently I have been having issues with my mascara & foundation so both of them are on my list of things to check out. I wanted to share my tip for finding a foundation as well...
Those are my best tips for shopping for a new foundation! While I wish I could find a drugstore foundation that I adore, I always end up disappointed so I primarily stick to high end foundations & use these tips. Recently I purchased a foundation online on a whim & it did not work out! Whatever you do, do not purchase foundation on the spot! Get those samples & apply it yourself at home, wear it for a full day & see what it wears like on your skin throughout the day. Some foundations look amazing for the first couple of hours & then wear terribly after some more time. Don't be afraid to ask for multiple samples, the stores have them & that is what they are for. After you've tried your foundation samples out & found one you LOVE, return to the store to purchase or order it online. I have a few foundations that I will be picking up samples of next week.
 1) Marc Jacobs, Genius Gel 
2.) Hellow Flawless! Benefit Oxygen WOW Liquid Foundation
 3.) Make Up Forever, HD Invisible Coverage Foundation
4.) Urban Decay, Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
5.) NARS Sheer Glow
6.) Perricone MD, No Foundation-Foundation
7.) Dior, Nude Skin-Glowing Make-Up
All of these foundations come in a range of shades & have various finishes/coverage. I will be sure to let you know how my sample collecting goes & what I think of each of them in the next few weeks. 
When it comes to mascara, I'm going to take the time to check out a few different ones to see what I can find. Since nothing I have right now is working, I'm going to go with something completely different, especially when it comes to the shape/style of the brush! 
When it comes to the rest of the stuff I'm shopping for, I have made a list of make/up beauty products as well as what stores I want to check out...
As you can see there are a couple products that I know exactly what I want & others are products that I want to take a peek at. I'm not sure I will be purchasing all of these things, but by having a list it helps me not get sidetracked into purchasing other things. I do think I want to check out some skincare stuff, but I'm not sure yet so I haven't added it my list.
These are the stores that I know I want to spend some time in. LUSH & the Buckle are both new, I'm really, really, really, excited about checking them both out!! Build a Bear just announced they are closing in a couple of weeks, so I want to maybe get each of the kids a new stuffed animal before that happens. Justin & I always talked about taking the kids to make one, but it just never happened. :( I have wanted to spend some time in Teavana for a while now, but I either run out of time or I have the kids with me. Teavana just isn't the store I feel the most comfortable taking the kids into. The girls need some new earrings & Claires is usually the best choice for little girls accessories. 
Obviously, I'm going shopping with a friend so I will also be going to whatever shops she wants to check out. I just like making a list like this so that I have some sort of a plan before really helps keep my anxiety in check & allows me to purchase the things that I really want, versus random things that I find on a whim. I also want to scope out some birthday/welcome home gifts for Justin, although he was originally supposed to be gone until the mid-end of October, it's looking like the middle of November is when he will actually make it home. His birthday is on the 23rd of November & I want to do something really fun for him this year. 
This post has gotten much longer & more ramble-y than I wanted it to be...why does that always seem to happen? ;) If you are going shopping soon let me know if this post helped you & of course share any of your shopping tips, tricks & ideas! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Feminism. For Breakfast.

Breakfast. With a Side of This...
Most of my mornings begin with a quick check of my favorite social media apps, Instagram, Twitter, bloglovin & the continuing time suck that is Facebook. Usually these quick social media viewings involve me scrolling through news feeds & tweets, liking pictures & statuses as I go. Humorous things get retweeted, photos I find interesting or inspiring get their heart button pushed. Once I feel connected with the social media friends I have, I get out of bed & begin my day. 
After this morning, I'm starting to think that I need to re-think my pre rise from bed routine. 

Last night a status came across my newsfeed. I also, end my day with social media checks. I know, I know. 

This, of course is referring to the recent events where multiple celebrities personal photographs were stolen & posted on various sites as if they were coupons to be handed out on Black Friday. 
Now, out of all of the things that have been posted, tweeted or shared since the situation became publicly known, this is probably not the most offensive.
It struck a cord with me. A irritated, upset, frustrated, cord. 
I took a couple moments to gather my thoughts & determine if it was even worth commenting on. 
Then, I realized that I'm a mother. I'm a mother with daughters. I'm a mother with daughters who will be growing into their own brilliant selves within this current culture. That was enough for me...
I commented.
As I posted my comment, I realized that it really wasn't going to change the individual's opinion of the situation. It wasn't going to impact the other people who liked or commented on this person's status. I considered deleting my comment. 

I considered deleting my comment. 

I'm not sure the exact moment where I lost my voice. I'm not sure when I became hesitant or afraid even to speak my opinion. 

To some of you, the idea of a full time blogger/YouTuber, being hesitant or afraid to speak up, may seem rather odd. The truth is, that talking about beauty products & subscription boxes is, easy for me. I don't feel vulnerable or exposed when I share my opinion about a bad product or I give something a positive review. But when it comes to issues like the one I'm sharing today, more often than not, I usually scroll right on past it & keep my comments all to myself. Or, I rant to one of my closest friends & family...
Today, this morning. I decided to change that. 

The change, really isn't that big of one for me. I used to be one of the most outspoken & bold people within my circle of people. I wasn't afraid of confrontation or calling other people out when it came to topics I didn't agree with. Thanks to a strong feminist upbringing & a high school education that came complete with weekly debates of social issues, politics & environmental issues, I was always confident with speaking my mind & standing up for what I believed in. Somewhere, along the way I lost a bit of that. Somehow, I turned down my own voice. 

Somehow, I became a closet feminist. 

Now, I went to bed last night with all of this weighing on my mind. Then I began my social media scrolling this morning & this is what I found...

WHAT the F*CK!!!!??? Is the first thing that went through my mind upon reading it. I re-read it again, making sure that my pre-coffee, one eye half open state was not effecting my ability to properly read... 
It wasn't. 

Right there. Three sentences. 
There were SO many things I wanted to write. So many things I wanted to shout. I went from pre-coffee grogginess to Beyonce I woke up like this level in about 2.5 seconds. I'm going to take the time now, to address them here on my little space of the internet instead. 

  • Leaving keys in the ignition, or keeping photographs on your iCloud is not grounds for anyone to steal ANYTHING. 
  • People are not tempting anyone when they take nude photographs of themselves. Temptation is not a justification to violate someone else's privacy. 
  • Yes, celebrities put themselves in the public eye. Yes, they often share more of their lives than is necessary. This does not mean they are not people. It does not mean that they deserve to have their private property stolen from them & distributed to the masses like free candy at a 4th of July parade. 
  • People should not be having to take extra precautions or hell, feel afraid to take nude photographs of themselves & store them on their personal iCloud accounts. 
  • Also, Mommy & Daddy buttons?! Seriously? They are vaginas, breasts & penises. If you can't even speak the words & need to hide behind juvenille descriptions of actual anatomical parts, perhaps you need to revisit your high school health class for a refresher course.  
I did leave a second & final comment on the post. 

This comment was essentially, touching on everything I mentioned above. I decided to let it all go, just like Elsa did. I did wish that I had powers of epic freezing proportions so that I could blast ice all over this dude's kingdom.
I then noticed that there were 7 likes on the original status, being the Nancy Drew sleuth that I am, I clicked to see how many of them were males. Expecting to find the majority were penis wielding members of society, I was quite shocked... 6 out of the 7 were WOMEN
What the literal, F*UCK?! 

Then I read the rest of the comments above mine. Women. Women joking about the situation. 
Ladies. Gentlemen. 
This. Bullshit. Is. Not. Funny.

To say I found a renewed appreciation for feminism is an understatement. I just wondered, if it was these individuals private photographs that had been stolen, or their bank statements or televisions, would they feel violated then? At what point has a woman's naked body become something that others feel like they have a right to take for themselves? When did it become acceptable for people to joke about the exploitation & exposure of others? A more educated person could probably answer all of those questions with historical information, facts & years of feminism power. 

I was not given another response to my comment. I was given the gift of being removed from this persons Facebook Friends list. 
Whoopsie. Looks like Christmas came early. 

When I went to use these photos on my social media platforms, I took the time to blur out the individuals profile photo & full name. Privacy. Protection for their identity. This person is not a celebrity or well known public figure. This person made rude, offensive & mis-guided comments. Yet, their personal information was treated with respect. Much less can be said for every, single, person who has ever found themselves in the heart of a horrible situation like the celebrities whose photographs were stolen & distributed over the weekend. 

This was not a scandal. Every time someone is attacked, assaulted or harmed sexually, it is not a scandal. It is a crime. It is a crime that should not be mocked, joked about or taken light heartedly. I'm not quite sure if our society will improve upon the current trend of sexual exploitation or violation in my lifetime, it is certainly not happening over night...

I know this topic is not something commonly found here on AlaskaLove12. Honestly, that might be changing. I'm sure the majority of my content will remain the same, but there might be more posts like this one in the future. 
For now, I'm having feminism for breakfast & savoring every bite of it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Renovation Daydreams | Kitchen & Dining Room

Renovation Daydreams Part I
I'm so excited to be sharing this post with all of you, because it means that we are one step closer to beginning on our massive home renovations. We have finally begun to prepare & plan to remodel our house. Over a year ago I shared a post with my inspirations for Lilliana & Danielle's room-makeover (Link). Although I really wanted to start on their room as soon as we closed on the house, Justin & I realized that their room, if we renovated the house the way we wanted to wouldn't be their room. 
I tabled my ideas for their room & honestly thanks to life, we didn't even start planning anything for the house until recently. As of now we will be starting on the downstairs with the kids rooms (Lilliana & Danielle are now going to have their own rooms.), & then moving onto the kitchen/dining room space. I will be sure to blog & vlog the entire process. 
A huge part of the process for me is being able to take the kitchen/dining room space that I have been dreaming of my entire life & forming it into a realistic design. Some girls dream of their perfect wedding throughout their childhood...I, was always thinking my dream kitchen. Back then it included a hot pink spiral staircase, pie covered wallpaper, glittery appliances & all of it was floating atop a bunch of fluffy white clouds. Okay, I have to admit that in my little day-dream land, this kitchen still exists, but since I live in a grown up reality I have to blend my childhood day dream kitchen with something more...feasible. ;) 
Of course I took to Pinterest as a starting point for my inspiration & I'm sure I will be picking up magazines, books & other things along the way. There are a few things for sure that I know I want to have in our new kitchen/dining room space, I'm going to list them & then share my Pinterest finds along with them. 
Open Shelves & A Farm House Sink
One of the main things that I want to see in our kitchen/dining room space is a more open layout with tons of natural light. Our current space has 1 window in the entire space & it's above the kitchen sink.  When we remodel the current area I know that we will be adding a bunch of windows which will allow more light as well as create a more open feeling throughout the area. In addition to the windows I do not want any top cabinets above the counters. I feel like the open shelving will add to the open-feeling of the space as well as save us some $$$ since we will not have to invest in top cabinets. 
As long as I can remember I have wanted a farmhouse style sink. I just love the way they look! The only thing I'm debating on now is if I want one that is just a single sink or one that comes divided, allowing for 2 sinks. :) 
Dark Floors & French Doors
If you only knew how long it has taken me to bring Justin over to the dark-hardwood floor side of life. Haha! Seriously, three years...three years & he has finally agreed for hardwood floors/tile in every room aside from the bed rooms! 
While I love the look of reclaimed wood floors like the one shown in the top right picture, I'm not sure how possible it is here in Alaska. There just aren't as many places to salvage material from. If it isn't possible I know we will be going with a dark hardwood option. 
One of the things I'm looking forward to the most is having a small porch off of the kitchen/dining room. The only door option I can even imagine there are French Doors. My grandparents have french doors throughout their house & they are one of my favorite things when I see homes/pictures of design ideas. 
Industrial-Rustic Accents & Chalk Board Spaces
The one thing that I keep being rather undecided on, is the color palette for the entire space. I go back & forth between a white on white look or something that is much more dramatic & dark. With the addition of the windows & french doors, I feel like darker colors will be possible. I'm just not sure yet! 
I do love the rustic-industrial look of the kitchens I've shown here. I especially like the contrast of the chalkboard against the wood accents. I have always wanted a chalkboard wall in my home & I think the kitchen/dining room space will be just perfect for it. 
I'm pretty much obsessed with the kitchen in the top left picture. It was really the one that started my inspiration for a darker color palette for the entire space. 
This is one of the color palettes that I'm looking at for inspiration. I really love the super dark shade in the middle & of course the teal! 
Well guys, those are my current inspirations for our soon-but-not-too-soon to be renovated/remodeled kitchen/dining room space. We are probably about a year away from starting this process since we need to start with the downstairs first, but I will be sure to keep all of you updated with what we are doing & I will be sharing my inspirations for all of the rooms/spaces we are planning on working on. :) 
If you want to see more posts that have inspired my ideas for our house you can check out my Pinterest! I will link the board that these pictures came from as well as my entire Pinterest account below!
House Remodel-Kitchen & Dining Room (Link)
My Pinterest (Link)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weekending | Alaska State Fair | Justin Leaving for Work, Again

A Weekend | Fair | Fun
If I could repeat a weekend over & over without any consequences to the flow of time, I totally would be repeating this past one. Not only was it the first official weekend of the Alaska State Fair, but Justin was home to attend with the kids & I for the first time in 2 or 3 years. Yes, I have lost track of how many years he has missed the fair, & Christmas, & birthdays. It is just to upsetting to think about, instead I focus on all of the ones that he is able to be home for & I make way too big of a deal out of them. 
This weekend was no exception to my, let's put too-much-pressure-on-the-little-things-while-Justin-is-home. Although we had a ton of things to get done to have Justin ready to leave for 2+ months of work yesterday, we both agreed that no matter what was or wasn't done, we would attend the fair together as a family. 
We weren't able to spend an entire day from fair opening to fair close like we have in the past, but we made it to the Motocross show, rode some rides & ate classic AK-State Fair food. Yes, we skipped the live stock barn & the gigantic vegetables. We didn't check out every single vendor or new exhibit. Even though it wasn't a perfect day at the fair, we had a great time as a family, made some new memories, & for me that is all that counts. 
I only managed to snap a few photos, most of them from the Motocross show, check them out below. Then I will share some of the pictures I captured of Justin getting various things ready to go out to work. 
As you can see Danielle LOVED the Motocross show. While it was amazing to watch this year, all 3 of the kids want to be racing in the kids super cross event next year. We are already gearing up for snowmachine racing this year & dirt bikes are certainly in the kids future. I'm so glad we began taking the kids to events like this one at a young age, they enjoy watching motorsports. After we got home from the fair that night we even watched a bit of the Slednecks 17 movie. ;) 

Although the fair was a great break from the chaos of getting Justin loaded up to leave for Manley for work, all fun things must come to an end. Sunday & Monday were a flurry of getting Justin ready, he managed to be somewhat still long enough for me to capture some photos...
Usually when Justin is home he is outside working on something. I never know exactly what he is up to, but I know that it is something important when he is blasting music & leaves me alone for more than 20 minutes. Haha! 
Our garages & driveways probably appeared to be a mess while we were unloading & then reloading the trailer. It wasn't actually a MESS but an organized chaos of Justin't out of town necessities, water, tools, RV anti-freeze & of course life at home with Luna, the kids & an nice outside dinner. 

Now that the driveway is empty (aside from my car & some toys), Justin is in Manley & the kids are at school, I feel a bit empty. While I was fully aware that we were preparing Justin to be gone for months, I didn't have the time to truly comprehend what that would mean in my reality. He has been gone for this long before, but the kids were so much younger & time seemed to pass so much quicker when they were all at home with me all day. Now, the house is too quiet, too still, & I'm not quite sure how these next couple of months will go. Luckily I have this blog, my Youtube Channel (Link), & of course the kids to keep me focused & busy while he is away. 

Stay tuned for updates on our journey while Justin is gone. I have some fun ideas to keep the kids connected to Justin while he is working somewhere that there is not cell service & wireless connections are limited. If any of you have lived & thrived while your significant other is away, please leave some comments below! 

I'll be back with another post soon & do not forget to check out the latest videos that I've uploaded to my YouTube channel! (Link

You can also find me on Instagram & Twitter @alaskalove12