The Dangerous Implications of Meghan Trainor’s Hit Song

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How are Meghan Trainor’s signature beats so insanely addicting!? All About That Bass has joined Fat Bottomed Girls and Baby Got Back on the soundtrack for curvy girls everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy society is coming around (again) to the idea that all sizes are beautiful. Afterall, in 2010, the average size for an American woman was size 14. But, I have to ask: can we PLEASE just love our beautiful curves without hating on our thinner sisters? If a woman doesn’t have “a lil’ more booty to hold at night”, should they be put on blast?

These lyrics are from Trainor’s body-loving anthem All About That Bass:

                I’m bringing booty back

               Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that

               No, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat

Seriously? “Skinny bitches?” Ok, granted she threw in the after-the-fact “just kidding”, but can you imagine how a thin-framed woman feels hearing this song? Probably the way I felt in the 90’s when “heroin chic” was actually a thing! I couldn’t find a pair of pants that fit for the life of me, and I felt like the biggest piece of crap. Remember those shameful Gap ads? *SHUDDER*!

Before you get all riled up in disbelief that skinny-shaming is actually a thing, hear me out. The emotional impact of “God, lose some weight” and “God, gain some weight” are the same.

Before you hee-haw that thin people don’t have body issues, check out #s 4 -7  on this list. Oh, and this article discussing Giuliana Rancic’s battle with cancer, and the medication that causes severe weight loss.

And while you’re at it, read this article by Janne Robinson. She’s a size 0. This quote from her article sums it up:

“I understand that our world might be sick of media shoving glorified, thin, air brushed models down our throats, but is the solution to throw all skinny women under a bus, because they don’t have hips to hold on to?”

People of all sizes need compassion, and no one deserves to be shamed. What is this Dr. Phil?  Maybe Trainor’s intention with these lyrics are to empower. But girls and women hear that song every day, and those messages stick.

That nagging “I’m not good enough” feeling doesn’t discriminate. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. No single body is the same. We are all unique. Let’s know our worth, and squash this. After all, according to Wiki,  Trainor herself “thought she was one of the chubby girls who would never be an artist.”

Can you image how many females (young and old) shy away from their dreams because they’re too afraid of how they’ll be received?

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the a-ma-azing documentary Miss Representation with interviews from Cory Booker, Katie Couric, Jane Fonda, and many others. Here’s a preview.

If women spent more time helping a sick neighbor, or volunteering at a homeless shelter, focusing on how to use all their energy to solve some of the worlds’ problems…if they spent a tenth of the time thinking about those things that they do thinking about their weight, I mean, I think we would solve all of the worlds’ problems in a matter of months”.

              –          Katie Couric, Miss Representation, 2011

How have you been effected by the media? Have you seen this film? What are your thoughts?Post below. We love hearing your perspective.

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Delicious (and Crazy Simple) Apple Cider Recipe

I really wish I had thought of this during winter, when my toes were numb and my body was shivering. But better late than never.

True, apple cider recipes are ubiquitous  on the internet, I wanted to share my experience with you readers.

IMG_20150402_155146018What you need:

  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 4 Empire Apples (Any red apples, really)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • A mason jar to hold extra juice (make sure it’s clean, mine has cider in it)
  • A juicer

*TIP* Buy apples in the big bags, or in bulk at a place like Sam’s Club or BJs.

Quick digression on why juicing and juicers are awesome: Before I got my juicer I thought, who has the money to spend on smashing up fruits and vegetables!  What a waste! Then, I bought my first juicer. On ebay. For $55. It was a steal. For $150, you can get a juicer that’s nicer than you’ll ever need, and will last forever if you take care of it… i.e Don’t stuff whole lemons down the shoot without first taking the peel off.

You’ll also experience the healing effects of juicing. After a weekend of indulging a tad too much, I was in gut pain to the extreme! I did this little fast for a day and felt good as new. Phew! I also added 2 stalks of celery and a tiny dash of cayenne. Num num. Very colorful, too.

OK, back to the cider!

What to do: 

  1. Juice 8 apples, 2 at a time. There will be a little froth on top, and that’s OK. Juicers come with special cups that catch the foam before it pours into your mason jar. You’ll see a pretty green and red swirly mix from the apples.
  2. Pour juice into a pot, and add the cinnamon. Feel free to experiment here. Other flavors that go with apples are: allspice and nutmeg. For an adult version, splash in some bourbon, brandy, cognac, or RUM.
  3. Bring the juice to a simmer and stir. Don’t let it get to a complete boil.
  4. You’ll notice the cinnamon will start to make this delicious swirly froth, much like the milk froth on a cappuccino. Keep stirring.IMG_20150402_155227773
  5. Turn off stove when it’s good and hot – but not boiling.
  6. Sip ’til your hearts content out of your favorite mug. IMG_20150402_160154099

2 – 3 Servings/cups

Overcome the cruel “you’re too sensitive” comment

Girl Looking At The Sun At Sunrise

“You’re too sensitive!” Ever hear that? It’s usually accompanied by “You’re making stuff up!” or my personal favorite “Get over it!”

These terms are spewed with a vexing tone, as if you are wrong, or a nuisance. These aren’t phrases you’d think to answer “thank you” to. But, turns out, a cheeky “thanks” might be the perfect response. After all, how will our not-so-sensitive counterparts ever learn from us with a pick in our mouths?

If you’re what Dr. Elaine Aaron calls the “highly sensitive person” (or HSP), you may have had trouble fitting in or feeling appreciated. In her bestselling book – The Highly Sensitive Person – Aaron gives sensitive people a voice, and debunks some of the myths out there.  Even though it can feel like a curse at times, here are 5 instances when your sensitivity is going to give you a leg up. From one sensitive-gal to another:

  • Emotional Awareness. The greatest artists and musicians and creatives or this world… Yup, all highly sensitive. Your ability to truly feel gives you an edge when expressing your inner truth and your true nature. Embrace it! You may give others the means to feel their feelings, too.
  • Human Lie Detector. It’s really difficult to get something past you! You’re an honesty ninja. Perhaps it’s a husband, child, boss, or co-worker that isn’t telling the whole truth, but you see through it. How? You just feel it, cuz you’re awesome like that!
  • Dining Out. Have you ever walked into a restaurant or café and know exactly where you do (or don’t) want to sit? Of course you do! Because you are sensitive to it! Perhaps your intuition is telling you were to sit to avoid a slip or getting seated in a section with a –less-than-pleasant server. Food for thought.
  • It takes a lot of bravery to sit with someone else’s pain and sympathize. Being able to mirror someone’s pain (just for a little while) can offer them major healing. Think about the last time someone offered you deep listening – one the best things you can do for someone in need. Be careful though, as it can cause energy depletion and taking on other people’s “stuff.” Read this now to protect yourself. And this.
  • Making Decisions. Highly sensitive people can access the subtle details of their environment. This can come in handy when making decisions such as: where to go to school, which job offer to take, whether or not to go to that party. You can detect people’s mood and intentions before they may even have the chance to! Use this to your advantage to choose what’s right for you, and know when to walk away from something.

When is the last time you told yourself you were too sensitive? Probably never. If the message is coming from other people, let them know that your sensitivities are part of your natural movement, and you see them as beautiful and helpful! Perhaps a little more understanding could go a long way. Your sensitivities were given to you as a compass, to find your unique path in life. Good luck, be patient, and enjoy yours gifts.

For more info, check out these amazing resources: 30 Important Websites for Highly Sensitive People and A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life blog.

5 Secrets to Keeping Your Garments Beautiful for Life

Closet Blog Feature Image

By: Lisa Saccoia

Finally! You found that perfect dress! It hugs and flares everywhere it’s supposed to. Score! Yet, after a few washes, its lost its luster and you can’t even recognize your once beloved garment. Where it was fitted, it’s now boxy. Where it was a bold hue of blue, it’s now a hint of gray.

Fret not, these easy tricks will keep your garments from turning boxy, shrunken, and lack-luster.

  1. Use Mesh Laundry Bags: Mesh bags are perfect for washing silks, under garments, and anything delicate. Use the delicate cycle on cold water. Hang them on a drying rack to dry. Never put nice, delicate clothes in the tumble drier, it’ll lose shape over time. Extra hint: No matter what the size of your mesh bag, never stuff it full. Let items breathe and have room. InsideSmarts is just one brand.
  2. Take time for details: Take a few extra minutes to button your blouses, and zip and secure your bottoms. This will ensure that items don’t catch on each other, and unravel to their doom! If there are loose strings (hoodies or draw-string pants) tie them to make sure they don’t tangle on other items.
  3. Turn it inside out: Turning dark clothing inside out helps fading. The same rule applies to sweaters, as you can avoid pilling.
  4. Treat stains with love: Accidents happen! Immediately remove the garment and spot-wash with a stain remover. In the wash, use a powdered detergent as it has more traction for getting stains out. If the stain doesn’t come out in the first wash cycle, treat the stain again. Don’t let the garment dry until the stain is gone. With heat, the stain will set and become permanent. When in doubt, wear an apron! You’ll look cute, feminine, and keep your unique clothing looking special for decades.
  5. Detergents are not created equal: If you’re worried about chemicals in your beauty and cleaning products, you’re not alone. The eco-friendly market continues to grow each year. Method brand makes amazing soaps and detergents. When shopping, look for detergents with the “Cruelty-Free” and “Paraben Free” labels. If you don’t live near a store that carries these products, shop on Amazon.com and Vitacost.com. They have an amazing selection of eco-friendly cleaning products.

When you buy a garment, it’s an investment you make to look and feel great. These tips will help you keep your clothing looking new and beautiful on you for years to come. Happy washing!

Capsule Closet: Hottest Spring Trend for Ultimate Luxury on the Cheap

Hottest Trend for Spring Minimalist Organizing
By: Lisa Saccoia

I confess. I’m the girl who has clothes strewn about so I can “find them.”

I also declare war on items that no longer fit, lost color, or have holes, yet somehow they end up back in my closet. Whaat? I can’t be the only one, right? Why do we do this? Is it because we feel guilty, or think “someday”? Or maybe we were Depression Era babies in a past life. Either way…

Here are this season’s hottest trends for surviving Spring Cleaning. If you do it right, you’ll add more joy to your life by having less “stuff”!

Jennifer L. Scott, author of the best-seller Lessons from Madam Chic,  has turned a woman’s worst nightmare into a chic lifestyle solution: a 10-item wardrobe. Yep, 10. T-e-n. How does she do it? Watch her inspiring TedTalk to find out. She also posts a new video to her YouTube Channel, The Daily Connoisseur, every Sunday.

Japanese organizational queen Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says only to keep pieces that “spark joy.” If they don’t, Justin Timberlake those suckers and say “Bye, Bye, Bye!” It’s the perfect song to play while cleaning out your closet. Need some motivation? Check out her Talks at Google here.

And then there’s the “Closet Capsule” phenomenon.   No, it’s not a closet where you put Sci-Fi movies you don’t watch. Much like Scott’s 10-item-wardrobe, it’s rooted in the idea that less is more, and investment pieces is where it’s at. No more buying throw-away pieces with every changing season. The fabulous and brave women behind Project 333 and Unfancy live the “Closet Capsule” phenomenon. Can you?

Could you part with your wardrobe in the name of living simple? Is our generation straying from the land-o-plenty mentality and finding freedom from these trends?  I want to hear from you! Share your comments and ideas below.