Finding Balance

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As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been eerily absent from my beloved blog for over a week.  Unfortunately, it’s no coincidence that I also started my new job last Monday.  Work has been exhausting, and I’ve found myself coming home at night too tired to think about setting up a post for the morning, too tired to cook or bake so as to share a recipe, too tired to attempt any of the dozens of DIY projects I have supplies laying around for, too tired to even read the books in my Nook so as to share reviews with you all. Maybe worst of all, I’ve been too tired to even keep up with your blogs, which I really LOVE to read each day.

It seems as though in just the past week, spring has sprung.  The sun stays with us an extra hour (and longer) thanks to a handy little clock adjustment, the temperatures here in NY are steadily in the 60s, the trees have green leaf buds and the daffodils, tulips, and crocuses are out! I’m not the only living creature facing big changes these days.

“Too tired” has gotten me nowhere good.  By avoiding doing the things I love most in life and casting them aside in the name of lounging in pajamas from dinner time until bed and eating my feelings while my husband watches the NCAA championships, I’ve only made myself more tired and unhappy.  I spent a lot of time resting over the weekend, but also spent time with my family and outside in the sunshine.  I feel rejuvenated, and I don’t want this feeling to go away.

I’m determined in the coming weeks to make adjustments to my busy work schedule in attempt to not lose touch with the life I enjoyed so much while unemployed.  I know that certain things will be sacrificed (no matter how I try, I won’t be able to take my dog on our daily lunch-time walks anymore), but I can incorporate more enjoyable activities into my life, especially as the days get longer.  Being the typical A-type personality that I am, I’ve made myself a list of all the little things I’m going to try to accomplish on a weekly basis from here on out that have absolutely nothing to do with work:

  • Start going for a walk or jog with my dog in the evenings, no matter how tired I am, either before or after dinner.
  • Try to cook at least 3 nights a week – going out and ordering out are going to make us go broke!  Any healthy meal will do, no matter how simple.
  • Read for at least 30 minutes before bed any book for pleasure.  Turn off all work-related emails or programs, turn off the television as well, and just read.
  • Plan out the week’s outfits on Sunday, to save time in the morning.
  • Use said “saved time” to actually eat breakfast in the morning, rather than grabbing coffee to drink in the car.
  • Attempt to post on this blog at least twice, if not three times during the week.  Remind myself that I love blogging, and it’s not to be thought of as another chore or more work that needs to get done. I always feel better after I’ve blogged my little heart out.
  • Schedule at least one weeknight dinner with friends and/or with my spouse, to maintain close connections and not lose touch with those that matter most.
  • Wake up each day and count my blessings, no matter what I’m going to be facing at the office that day.  Remind myself how lucky I am to have employment, and that my job is actually pretty great compared to most.

I’m ready to take on this coming week, and not let my job define who I am and what I accomplish. As they say, “work hard, play hard(er)!”

Oh, and to all my fellow bloggers with other full-time day jobs, I’d love to know your secrets as to finding time for it all! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a safe St. Patty’s day! xo

An Open Letter to Vogue Magazine

Dear Vogue (Editors, Writers, Photographers, and all others involved with the March Issue),

I was more than just a little excited when I heard that Adele would be gracing the cover of your magazine.  To me, Adele exemplifies true beauty, class, and grace.  Her features are stunning, her eyes piercing, and her curves are what men dream of.  I knew she would be perfect for the cover, and would break the typical mold set by most Vogue cover models.

When I finally laid my eyes upon her cover and photos inside, I was in shock and dismay.  Who was this size 2 woman with hollow cheeks?  Yes, she still had a large chest, but her breasts looked ridiculous weighing heavily over a 25″ waist.  Her jaw line was narrowed, her cheek bones accentuated, and even her arms looked rail thin.  I expected to see Vogue take Adele’s natural beauty and create one of the most gorgeous covers ever.  Instead, when viewing the revealed photos online I saw just another model.  Thankfully, I can read the article online, because I will not be purchasing this issue after all. My money will not contribute to another photoshop tragedy.

I need to know why.  Why would you ask Adele to be on the cover and choose to feature page after page of her picture if you did not actually like her image?  If you wanted another size 2, then you should have just asked any one of the many girls who graced the runway at NY Fashion week.  Adele is a woman to be celebrated and appreciated, not someone you reduce to an image you choose to portray.  Why was she not good enough for you as is?

Who exactly did you think you were kidding? We all know what Adele really looks like.  She’s stood in front of millions of viewers and performed, her voice unwavering, totally sure of herself and who she is.  Her weight has absolutely never been an issue when it comes to selling records, so why did you make it an issue to sell your magazine?

Of course, your legal team must have told you that this is a hot button issue in the United States. There is a bill on the table in Arizona that addresses airbrushed images in the media, and Congress is only a step behind.  Although laws against airbrushing may be extreme, there is an important discussion to be had.  No, you aren’t the only magazine guilty of using photoshop, but you certainly are among the top of the list of culprits by focusing on “high fashion” which notoriously emphasizes bone-thin, shapeless women.

Let me be clear.  When you feature one of these shapeless, almost ill-looking women on your cover, I am not bothered.  I know the game, I understand the concept of airbrushing, and I accept that is what the fashion industry’s idea of beautiful is.  But when you change a phenomenal young woman whose talent knows no bounds and has absolutely no nexus to how she looks (although, let me emphasize again that she is the epitome of beautiful) you cross a line that just shouldn’t be crossed.  It’s one thing to glorify über-skinny women, but it’s another thing altogether to use computer programming to take a woman with naturally beautiful curves and make her into something she’s not.  Have you no shame? Did you think no one would notice or care? That this wouldn’t be hurtful and damaging?

You are VOGUE.  You could have taken the curves that God gave her and played them up fabulously, making her look more beautiful than ever.  Instead, you chose to eliminate them, leaving only the boobs and a bobble head that faintly resembles the 23 year old I so greatly admire and respect.  She’s comfortable with her weight and has stated so time and time again.  Why can’t you be comfortable as well?

Adele is a real woman, but you turned her into Barbie. Shame on you.

Sincerely,

Just Another Girl With Curves

Protest the Stop Online Piracy Act!

Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to  help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom.

 

You may notice the ribbon on the top right corner of my blog.  The ribbon will stay as a sign of protest until the 24th, when Congress votes on the Bill.

Please take a few minutes to head over to americancensorship.org and take action. It only takes a few moments of your time to be an agent of change!

NY, We Love You!

It finally happened here… the Senate session ran late into the night and at around 11 pm the votes were counted: 33-29 for the passing of Governor Cuomo’s Bill to legalize gay marriage in NY.


Source: NBC NY

By midnight last night, he had signed it into law.  Perhaps most touching during the Senate hearing were the brave few who voted against the bill the last time, and stood up to discuss their “changes of heart”.

“I apologize to those I offend,” said Grisanti, a Roman Catholic. “But I believe you can be wiser today than yesterday. I believe this state needs to provide equal rights and protections for all its residents.”

Steve Saland, who spoke at length about his decision, said, “I hope that my parents would be proud.”

Sen. Carl Kruger spoke last, and admitted he had voted against the measure in the past but was willing to make a change. “People that care can truly make a difference … I vote yes.”

Perhaps the most heartfelt and touching moment was after the vote had been counted and the result announced, over the cheering in the room the spectators in the galley could be heard yelling “Thank You”, to which Governor Cuomo, who had arrived for the counting of the votes yelled back, “Feels good, Thank YOU!”

There are really no words for how thrilled and excited about this I am. 6 states now recognize a gay couple’s right to marry. 44 more to go. NY is the largest state so far to pass the measure, and hopefully it will have tremendous influence on the rest.  At least we’ve proven we’re far better than California (but every NYer already knows that!)

Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who voted YES last night, for recognizing that all humans have the right to love and be loved, and for remembering that we are all equal under the eyes of the law and our Constitution.

And of course, to my gay friends,

I CANNOT WAIT TO DANCE AT YOUR WEDDING!!

Help Pass Tougher Dog Fighting Penalties in NY

As many of you know, being a bully owner I am deeply passionate about the issues surrounding the “pit bull” breed ranging from ignorance and stigmas, legislative bans on breed ownership, and most importantly bringing an end to the cruel practice of dog fighting.  Here in NY, lawmakers are stepping up their game to impose harsher penalties on the individuals who continue this disgusting practice.

The sad eyes of a broken spirit…

The Humane Society’s Cruelty and Fighting Campaign is backing a bill currently in the NY State Assembly to strengthen penalties surrounding dog fighting.  Presently in NY, while organizing a dog fight is a felony, possessing animals for the purpose of fighting is only a misdemeanor and attending a dog fight is merely a “traffic ticket-like” violation.  NY is ranked 48th of all the states for its dog fighting laws, and has been criticized for its weak stance when punishing offenders.  Our state has become a safe haven of sorts for criminals from other states who organize their dog fights here where penalties are less steep.

Currently, there is legislation before the NY legislature to toughen these penalties.  Under the new law, owning an animal for the purpose of fighting would also be a felony, while attending a dog fight would be raised to a misdemeanor offense.  The legislation passed unanimously in the House, but is currently stuck in the Assembly where it did not pass before the end of this past session.

You can help! All I am asking is that you NYers take 5 minutes to please call Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s office at 518-455-3791 and ask him to pass A. 4407 to toughen the animal fighting law.  Today is your chance to take a small step that may make a big difference in the life of an innocent animal.  Thanks for letting me preach to you this morning!

For more information about the bill, read: Lawmakers want to close animal fight loopholes.