Monday, March 30, 2015

What Is Your Favorite Random Part of Your Body?

photo by Andre Larsson

We women tend to focus on either the body parts we want to make the most attractive or the body parts we want to make the most invisible. We put in so much time and effort accentuating the “good” and minimizing the “bad” and trying to bring attention to where we want it to be. Yet, I’m not going to tell you to stop stressing about and start loving those physicalities we fixate on most. Much has been said about that already. But what about the rest of our bodies? How do we feel about the body parts we discount or don’t notice at all? I say, find the beauty in them too. The best part about those forgotten features is there is usually no standard of beauty for them, so if you find them lovely, then they are!

I like my knees. I think they have a nice round shape (although I could do with lotioning them more, lol). I have a pretty collar bone, too. In fact, I find all my bony parts appealing. That may sound silly, but it is satisfying to be able to see beauty in every inch of me. 

Maybe you have sexy ankles or a cute belly button. Maybe you have a defined chin or toned shoulders. The possibilities are endless because each of our bodies is unique.

“What about body parts that no one thinks are attractive,” you may ask, “such as knuckles or nostrils?” Think of their uses instead, their reasons for existence. Without knuckles, you wouldn’t be able to punch someone who attacks you or give a good back massage to a friend. Without nostrils, you couldn’t breathe in your favorite food's fragrance, your sweetheart’s tantalizing cologne, or your baby’s pleasant scent. Those areas you think are flabby, your children or pets may find comforting as they cuddle you. The tongue you think is too wide or too narrow is the perfect size for saying “I love you.” 

Having gratitude and appreciation for what your body can do is the first step to loving it and finding it beautiful. So go to the nearest mirror and tell me, what random body part do you love?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's All about the Boys

It's been a long time since I've posted just about the boys! Caden is all about the potty humor right now: talking about poop and bums, farting, and shaking his bottom. He is learning so much and is interested in spelling everything right now. Some more Cadenisms: pizza skin (crust), ha ha (his taunting laugh, pronounced as written), roop (rope, since corrected), mark check (check mark), and dagnabit (he got that from me, lol).

Gabe is quite the character. He learned to kiss and wave hello/goodbye. He can sign dozens of words and always tries to copy whatever new sign I show him. He loves to sign and say dada the most. He can sign mama, but only if I ask him to and he won't say it. Instead, he says om and now ommy. [Update: a few days later he started saying mama and mommy!] When he wants my attention or is mad he screeches, "MAHM!!!" He also says da (ball), gah (car), shish (shoes), sis (socks), de-de (Caden), gook (cookie), shhh (he used to do it with his finger on his mouth too), uh uh (instead of no), Dudge (Curious George), choo-choo (for train), beep (for cars), eesh (fish), and dachoo (tractor).

He loves to cuddle with blankets and pillows, play with cars and stuffed animals, read books, color, jump, dance, and listen to music. He can retrieve items you ask for, clean up his toys, and pick out his clothes--that is, if he wants to. He went through a raisin-loving phase but has since moved on to cashews and peanut butter. I've also started weaning Gabe, and he is down to nursing three times a day and twice at night.

The boys fight a lot and like to rile each other up, but they also get into trouble together and love to chase each other and make each other laugh. They're the cutest, smartest, silliest boys a mom could ask for.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I Felt It Up Felt Toys Review & Giveaway [CLOSED]

I love felt toys! They're easy to clean and soft--no injuries if thrown or stepped on. Thus I was very excited to receive some handstitched felt toys to review from Jase's Etsy shop, I Felt It Up.

I have been on Etsy for 4 years now and have been crafting for just over that time. I gave up smoking and needed something to do with my hands; this is what I came up with. My mother is a life long crafter. I started out using traditional store-bought felt and making small fealties and trinkets. I certainly have fun making them but as time progressed I delved into glues, pastes, papers, metals and more. I consider myself a collage artist, or most say mixed-media artist. 

Jase sent me a camping set (3 fire logs, flames, a canteen, a compass, and a lantern), a decoupaged notebook, and 2 wooden chalkboard magnets. My 4-year-old loves the camping set!

*Super creative items! The camping set is not one I've ever seen before.
*Good quality items. Nothing has come apart, unlike items I've received from very successful, expensive shops.
*Nice variety of items in the shop for a broad audience.
*Great customer service. Jase is very polite and responds to messages in a timely manner.

*The items smelled like smoke. But the smell came out of the felt items in the wash.

One of you readers will win a set of felt Band-aids, prefect for stuffed animals and dolls or playing doctor! This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

You can also use the coupon code SPRINGFEVER for 10% OFF $27+ through April 15!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Best Resources for Raising an Emotionally Healthy & Strong Girl

I have yet to be blessed with a little princess of my own, but that doesn't mean I haven't already thought about how I would want to raise her. And as a mother of two boys, I think that what we teach our sons about women is just as important as what we teach our daughters. I have found many excellent online resources for raising emotionally healthy, secure, confident girls--and boys who will support them.

A Mighty Girl

This source is my favorite for its thoroughness. It has inspirational quotes from influential women, true stories about women from history and current events, lists of books about such women or featuring strong fictional female characters, and advice about how to address sensitive subjects concerning womanhood.

Beauty Redefined

Founded by twin sisters, this site lives up to its name: to redefine the standard of beauty and encourage women to love themselves and change their priorities. Its motto is "See more. Be more." It also contains resources on how to teach modesty in an unshameful way for those who believe in certain dress codes.

Fight the New Drug

Dear to my heart, this movement is attacking the incredibly prevalent and harmful pornography industry. It reveals through science and personal stories (no religion or politics) how porn kills love and what a real relationship should look like. It helps both men and women see each other and themselves as more than just sexual objects.

Improving Birth

As a woman, giving life is a wonderful and personal privilege, and the manner in which it happens should be dictated by us mothers. This organization is increasing awareness of and changing women's rights in birth so we can make informed choices, feel respected and empowered, and improve our and our babies' health. It is never too early to ingrain this into our children.

Darling Magazine

This magazine is about the art of being a woman and covers all aspects of womanhood. It focuses on inner beauty and personal development. It has stunning photography while keeping it real. You can read my more in-depth blog post about the magazine here.

What are your favorite resources for developing strong women?
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