Friday, April 29, 2011

a week without blogging.

This week I've been really quiet in this space, because quite honestly I needed a little break. Things at work have been above and beyond crazy, our poor loft has been left a disaster area from going out of town so much, we're trying to figure out how to tie some loose ends up so that we can hopefully purchase a house this summer, and I've been trying to think about what path I want to take and how to get there in regards to my professional life. Overwhelmed is an understatement.

This time last week I was packing up our van and hitting the road for our first big camping trip of the season. It's hard to fathom how that weekend came and went so quickly, but it was a perfect trip. One thing that I learned over that weekend is that I tend to stress out so much that I miss out on a good majority of the day... even in the middle of the woods, I still have trouble 'letting loose' and that is something that I really want to work on now that I am aware of it.

But, there were two parts of this trip that made it really great. The first was waking up early Saturday morning to the rain tapping on my tent - this was the only rain we had all weekend, and it was very calming while it lasted, especially since we stayed nice and dry in our (new!!!) tent. The second was playing on the small private beach all day on Saturday. Everyone got a lot of sun, we swam, we drank, we laughed... just a really, really great time with some pretty amazing people in my life. Our dog Pete REALLY enjoyed the beach, and it was so cute watching him swim all day and chase the football... Sean literally had to force him to sit down because he was so exhausted that his muscles were shaking, but he was having so much fun that he couldn't calm down! I love my little River Dog :)

Once we got home, we left our clothes on the floor piled almost as tall as the ceiling and filled the sink with dishes. It's taken me a few days, but things are looking much better and I always feel more relaxed when the loft is clean....... especially the kitchen. I'm looking forward to tonight, when one of my best girlfriends Denise will arrive and I'll get a chance to spoil her with some of my cooking. I've been taking some time to experiment in the kitchen over the past two weeks, and I'm pretty excited about my abilities to cook a meal that's actually edible for the first time in my life! We're taking some time to relax, gossip, and laugh... and catch up on the Royal Wedding (duh!)

What are you doing this weekend?

{photos: i took the first 2 pictures, my friend meg took the next 4, and jessi took the last one}

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day Camping!

I am very excited, because this weekend we're going on a camping trip (at the beach!!!) with a bunch of our friends for Earth Day! We leave tomorrow morning and will get home sometime on Sunday. This will be our first camping trip of the year, and I can't wait to go on many more... hopefully the next will be in June for my birthday. I am mostly looking forward to getting out in nature and leaving electronics and other distractions at home -- so I won't be checking in here until sometime on Monday. Have a very happy Earth Day, and make sure you make time to get outside and enjoy nature!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Movie Review/Rant - The Buisness of Being Born

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Today's movie review is also going to be a little of another one of my rants. Because it's a documentary on something that I feel more passionate about than almost anything in the whole world: Home Birth. The film is called The Buisness of Being Born and I personally think it should be made illegal for a woman to give birth without watching this film -- yes, this is an extreme statement... but women need to be educated about all of the different birthing paths that are available, weigh the pro's and con's, and then learn to TRUST their bodies and make the right decision for them personally so that they do not feel cheated later on (and some women's birth path leads them to a hospital - so please don't think I'm condemning all women whose bodies and mind need this way over the home birth way).

I know some of you are feeling a tighness in your chest right about now, relax, I'm not going to make you feel like an awful person because you chose or may choose a hospital birth and may also choose or have chosen an epidural. But, I will say how I feel about this topic because I don't think enough women who share my passion do. And that can make the rest of us feel very alone when we actually aren't. There is strength in community, and this is one of those things we need to hold tight to and support eachother on.

I haven't had a child yet, but I can honestly say that it's something I look forward to every single day of my life. We are somehow given these bodies, and they are so extrordinary that they are able to not only produce life, but give birth to it. It is the one thing that separates us from our male counterparts, our birth right. So why has our country become so afraid of birth? Afraid in the sense that it's become the norm for women to want the outcome of the baby, but skip the 9 months of pregnancy (or should I say, the gaining weight part) and especially skip the entire birth process and pain that comes with it. Some women would rather schedule a c-section and then follow that up with an immediate tummy tuck and magically have a baby at the end of it all.

Men don't understand the relationship that a woman has with her unborn child, so sometimes the idea of a home birth isn't something they're going to jump on board with right away. And a lot of the time, the woman who chooses to home birth is hassled and made fun of and called a bad mother by other women, women she looks up to and respects. Is it ever bad mothering when the child's best interests are at heart? On the same note, is it ever bad mothering when a woman chooses to trust her body to do something that bodies have been doing since the beginning of time?

It's not fair that women have to constantly battle the way they chose to mother - they battle against mainstream society, the media, their friends, their families, and sometimes their own husbands. And I feel this battle even now, as a twenty-something who doesn't see a child in my future for at least two or three more years. I hear women constantly talking about how afraid they are of birth, and when I'm not afraid there are times that my ideas are shunned because of it. I'm told that I live in a fantasy world because I want to experience my birth, and I want to feel it and wrestle with it and come out the other side a stronger woman because of it. And I'm not willing to compromise on that.

The United States has the second highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized nations in the world. We are also a nation that has normalized hospital pregnancies and have stopped listening to our bodies. We don't listen to our bodies about what's healthy to eat, drink, or do... so I guess sadly this is another instance where we aren't listening. And when you aren't listening, the universe will make you listen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but there will come a time when we learn the consequences of our actions. The consequences of our constant battle with nature (my guess is it will come in the form of an idea about why adhd and autism and sids are so prevelant in our country).

Many women are afraid to give birth at home, but I am afraid to have birth in a hospital. Afraid that my birth plan won't be cherished and I'll be given Pitocin when I don't go into labor on the doctor's schedule, talked into an epidural, and then have my baby rushed away into another room for vaccines and a circumcision. The thought of trusting surgeons over my own body and insticts quite frankly creeps me out and is one of the scariest things I could ever imagine. If I am not sick and my baby is not sick, there is no reason for us to be in a hospital which has been designed for sick people.

I hope at this point I have at least sparked your interest and if you haven't before, you'll take time to research the benefits of a home birth rather than letting our culture make you believe there is only one right way to give birth. And if you aren't willing to do the research, I at the very least hope you will think twice before judging a woman as she chooses the birth path that is right for her. Birth binds us all together as women, and if we aren't willing to support eachother in listening to our bodies then we really have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Natural Alternatives

Tonight I'm spending the night with myself, relaxing and watching a movie and spoiling myself with cheese, crackers, and a bottle of Cupcake Chardonnay. It's glorious. And I'm watching Knocked Up for the second time today. Win.

Today I took Pete to get his haircut in preparation for our big camping trip that we're taking next week. His hair was so long, almost 4 inches, and Sean and I decided that long, wet dog hair with sand just doesn't mix. So we shaved him (and Sean insisted we keep a little goatee), he looks so adorable - and like an incredibly different dog. See:

I am so excited about this trip! I bought a new tent today and some folding chairs, and it was really odd (in a good way) making a decision about a larger tent to accommodate our (future) growing family... I keep thinking about yearly camping trips and making traditions with my little family and it was just really cool talking about that with Sean. I hope that we can start going camping every year around this time! When I got home I looked up the campsite and felt like a little kid looking forward to summer vacation... it's going to be SO MUCH fun!


I've been doing a lot of research for the past several months on natural alternatives to the flea and heart worm medication that we've been giving our dogs. I started looking up information about the pro's and con's a little over 4 months ago, because I found it to be a contradiction to my beliefs that I was giving my pups these pills every month without first learning about the side effects or contents or even necessity (you don't really need them in the winter, for instance). And they aren't cheap. I don't like taking medication, I've discussed using an alternate vaccine regimen for our future kids, and I don't even take birth control pills because the idea of putting chemicals and hormones and other ''things'' into our bodies has always sort of freaked me out. I feel like everything that we need can be found in nature, and that possible side effects aren't worth the risk - especially when a little research can usually always offer up a safer remedy. Call me a crazy liberal tree -hugger, but that's one thing I have always stood by.

So, when I began researching about flea and heart worm medication, I came to the somewhat obvious conclusion that they are nothing more than poison capsules. Think about it, these 'preventatives' are ultimately treating our pets for parasites even when they don't have them yet. Kind of a ''better safe than sorry" mentality... but is it really safe when some of the side effects of long term use include a weakened immune system, kidney failure, or seizures (to name a few).

You can draw your own conclusions for your pet, but I don't want to put my dogs at risk when there are other options out there that I am more comfortable with. And, I was somewhat surprised to read that a lot of the 'hype' is fueled by fear tactics that are somewhat irrational.. You can read more about this topic here, here and here.

 Anyway, the prevention method that our family has chosen is a simple mist made up of Tea Tree, Geranium and Lavender oils. I went to  Elwood Thompson's today (a natural grocery store by our house, similar to Whole Foods) and picked up a large spray bottle and the oils, and excitedly returned home and mixed it all together. We're going to keep this spray bottle by our door, and use it regularly.

I think that prevention starts with first making the dogs undesirable to these parasites., rather than treating them each month when they aren't 'sick'. These oils deter mosquito's, fleas and even ticks from biting in the first place -- and without these parasites, the worry for infestations diminishes. Added bonus: it smells really nice, and you can use it on yourself rather than that nasty smelling, sticky bug spray you find in the store. Another bonus, they were about $12 per bottle, and will last for a very, very, very long time.

In case you're interested, here is the recipe that I will be using for our dogs:

1 and 1/2 cup water
4 drops tea tree oil
4 drops geranium
4 drops lavender (which also has a calming effect, great for hyper dogs!)

Shake well, and apply before dogs go outside and again upon returning inside. You can also purchase a natural supplement, but I don't think it's really necessary. 

*Added note: It's still a good idea to get your pups checked out for heart worms when they're at the vet for their checkups, keep them on a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. The healthier your dog is, the easier it is for their body to fight off the heart worms in the first place. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

somebody has to say it - v.05

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Somebody has to say it... stop motion animation is A W E S O M E! Seriously, I wish I was this talented! I have been watching these on youtube for the past week, so I figured I'd share. So, for your viewing pleasure...



Andddd This:

How cool is that?!
p.s. -- one more, I love this song and I wish I was creative enough to have thought of this back when Sean & I got engaged! (Maybe for baby?)

Have a happy weekend :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Movie Review x2

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Last night I watched two movies back to back, and both were so good that I couldn't wait to recommend them to you today!

The first was a little dark, but I've never seen anything like it before. Heartless is about Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess aka Jude from Across the Universe!), a twenty-something living in East London who was born with a dark birthmark across his face and on his shoulder. Throughout his life, he has been teased and tormented because of it, and worries that he will never find love or have the chance to become a father because of the way he looks. There are several violent gangs in his neighborhood, and while walking home from work one day realizes that one resembles a group of demons. Unable to draw the line between reality and fantasy, Jamie begins to become haunted by these demons and sees them all across town. This film quickly turns into an internal battle between Jamie and his desire to rid himself of his birthmark, as he determines what he will and will not do for the sake of vanity.

I will be honest, this film probably requires a second viewing as there is so much depth to it and it requires a great deal of thinking for yourself (which I am a h u g e fan of, but realize not everyone is). Sean and I sat in silence after the movie had finished and frantically pulled out our computers and began searching for symbolism and clear cut answers to some of our questions about the movie. But I will say, this film kept us on the edge of our seat and there were so many surprises wrapped up in each scene alone. See the trailer here!!!

The second movie we watched was a much needed comedy, I Love You, Phillip Morris which I can best describe as a flaming gay version of Catch Me If You Can (did I mention, it's also based on a true story?!). Steven Russel (Jim Carey) is a ''happily married'' police officer, who joined the force for the sole purpose of finding his birth mother. Once he finds her, and she refuses to see him, he begins to wonder why she gave him up in the first place and decides to quit his job and move on. He's later in a car accident which nearly takes his life, and decides then and there to live his life to the fullest -- as an openly gay man. Long story short, he becomes a con man and winds up in the State Penitentiary where he meets Phillip Morris, the love of his life. Steven becomes dedicated to freeing Phillip and building the ''perfect life'' together, and you will be amazed at the seemingly impossible things he is able to accomplish. The absolute b e s t part of this movie is the ending, which I guarantee will be the best surprise ending you will EVER witness! See the trailer here -- definitely recommended if you're looking for a hilarious movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

What movies have you seen lately?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dressing Your ''Age''

This week I have come to a realization -- I need to ''re-think'' my wardrobe, and dressing for my age and body type aren't as easy as they once were. Sometimes I wish that I had a personal stylist, who knew how to cover up the unflattering parts of my body and could effortlessly make my curves work for me. But alas, most of us don't have it that easy.

I have never experienced this problem before. In high school I was a size 2 and most everything I put on was flattering... because, how bad can you REALLY look when you're 5'9 and skinny (I wish I could go back in time and tell this to my younger self). College was pretty similar, as sizes 4-6 are still pretty easy to accommodate. However, now I am in a totally different ball park as my body has taken on new twists and turns, forcing me to be more conscious of materials, how things fit, and patterns that flatter and do not. It's hard work, especially when you aren't used to putting this much effort into an outfit.

Yesterday I was in American Eagle, returning some jeans that I bought online. I have shopped here for an (embarrassing) 13 years, and so it's become very comfortable. As the years have gone by, and my body has changed, I have found myself making purchases that don't really do my body the justice it deserves. I am shopping out of HABIT. Well, yesterday I was looking at some of the tank tops when a sale's lady came over to me and stated that I should probably be looking at the t-shirts, because they ''are a looser fit, and look flattering on ALMOST any figure.'' Ouch.

Then I realized, these clothes are made for teenagers. I am not a teenager, therefore I do not have a teenager's figure. Also.... sorry sale's lady, but women with curves can find flattering clothing outside of the ''baggy t-shirt'' realm. I left without making a single purchase.

I have been battling this decision for the past year: how do I dress for my ''new'' body. You know, the one that has resulted from puberty (thanks, genes). Habits are hard to break, and as I wandered aimlessly around the mall I realized how lost I felt not knowing how to progress. Then, on the drive home, I vowed to explore other options and open my mind to the endless OTHER possibilities that were available to me. I also vowed to be easier on myself, and more aware of my body type and the changes that naturally take place as one gets a little older.

I have been looking on ModCloth for a while now, but never dared to purchase outside of my comfort zone. I also explored a few other options, and found that there is a lot out there for everyone - and the effort can pay off.

I ended up getting this and this in replace of my high-school-wannabe American Eagle jeans, and as silly as it sounds the whole experience was pretty freeing.

Moral of the story: It's hard to be honest with yourself, especially when it comes with your sense of style. HOWEVER, dressing your age and for your body type don't have to be daunting tasks. Don't let skinny, heartless store clerks tell you that you'll only look good in a baggy t-shirt simply because you can't fit into their 00 jeans. Curves can be beautiful, too. They are natural for most women who progress past the age of 16. Smile. Nod. Repeat.

This month I plan on exploring other stores and experimenting with different fabrics, patterns, and styles. Maybe a few ''outfit posts'' will be in the near future, as I discover what works for my body and what doesn't. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite places to shop!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My weekend in D.C.

This weekend was pretty amazing, because Sean & I (and Pete and Samson, too!) got to spend it in D.C. with two of our very best friends. You may recognize one of them :)

Sean and Samson stayed at his college roommate Dan's house, while Pete and I stayed at Brittany's. Most of my close girlfriends live out of town, so it was really nice to get as much 'girl time' as possible this weekend. Luckily, Sean understands how important my girlfriends are to me, and didn't mind us sleeping in different places. Also, I think the pups really enjoyed the one on one time that they got!

Brittany is a planner, and lucky for me she put together one heck of a weekend! Friday night we all hung out at Dan's apartment, but came home early to rest up for a busy Saturday. Brittany woke me up to made-from-scratch lemon poppy seed scones (what's up with all of my friends being excellent cooks but me?) and then we headed out for a day of shopping.

Our first stop was lunch at DC-3, aka my favorite meal of the weekend! We each got NY Coney dogs and split a basket of fried pickles (mmmmmmm!!!!!) It's been so long since I've had a g o o d hot dog, and this really hit the spot. Also, the atmosphere was awesome -- it's a 1940's aviation theme diner and they only sell vintage soda's (I got the Daddy's Rootbeer). Next time, I'm definitely getting cotton candy for dessert!

After lunch, we headed to Georgetown for some shopping. I typically shop at the same basic stores, so it was nice for a little change in my wardrobe. We stopped by Sprinkles Cupcakes and tried the coconut, banana, and red velvet cupcakes.... delish! I also picked up some doggie cupcakes... which Pete and Samson (and Brittany's pug Henry) gobbled up in a matter of seconds.

We rested at Britt's place for a few hours before meeting up with Sean & Dan for dinner and drinks at Red Rocks Pizza. This place was really great and our waiter was hilarious! I got the Confit Pizza, which had eggplant, olives and goat cheese. . . y u m! I highly recommend this place if you're ever in the area!

That night we hung out at my all time favorite pub, Murphy's -- I loooove the Irish Sing Along's and 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' has been stuck in my head ever since (Have you heard the Jersey Shore version? Hilarious!). I really love the laid back atmosphere, and it's impossible to keep from smiling because e v e r y o n e is having such an amazing time laughing and singing together!

Sunday we all met up for brunch and stopped by a little puppy boutique (Pete got a new collar, and they both got a new toy and an Easter cookies for the road) before heading back home to Richmond. It was a very quiet ride home to say the least, as everyone was passed out - except for me, the driver. I can't wait to go back!!!

Friday, April 08, 2011

somebody has to say it - v.04

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Somebody has to say it... 9 to 5 jobs s u c k. I don't know anyone who enjoys getting up and going to their job... yeah, some enjoy what they do - but would they rather be sleeping or eating or outside or inside or in sweatpants and an old t-shirt, yes, probably. Whoever invented full time jobs and made money such a priority should have been fired a long, long time ago.

But, we obviously have to work. There's unfortunately no way around that, unless you marry some one with a lot of money. Which I did not (neither did he, heh). This week I came very close to quitting my job on a whim and nannying for a family of a friend. The pay was a little better than I'm making now, and the thought of spending my day playing at the zoo, doing arts and crafts, and nap time were all extremely tempting. So tempting that I cried when I turned it down, because I couldn't believe how responsible I've become. Ugh, when did I become a 'grown up' who has to worry about health insurance and furthering my career? When did bettering my community mean more to me than playing outside? I'm still deciding if I like these qualities about myself or not.

Anyway. I didn't quit my job. I'm still here, in my windowless office, shuffling papers around. But, this whole experience did make me realize some things. Such as the fact that since I didn't get into graduate school, I still have at least an entire year to let my career path lead me in numerous directions. I'm not 'stuck' in any place just yet, so that freedom adds a little excitment to my daily routine. Also, I'm starting to know for sure that I don't like office jobs, I need to be around people constantly (I get weird if I'm not) and I hate the 9 to 5 routine.

Moral of the story -- almost everyone hates going to work every day, but it's a necessary evil. So, find something you enjoy... afterall, we're at our jobs more than any other place else... might as well l i k e what you're doing. On that note, I'm ready for a change.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Lately, I've been having some really strange dreams - even for me. I told Sean that I think it's because I am actually sleeping through the night now that we got Netflix. FYI, Sean likes to stay up watching t.v. until ridiculous hours in the wee morning and when he falls asleep the television is usually blasting (if you've spent the night with us, you know....). Anyway, we had to get rid of Blockbuster because they're going out of business and long story short, when movies are over on Netflix they cut off (as opposed to with Blockbuster, where they start playing previews or other loud things). You probably don't really care, but I think it's glorious!!!!!

Anyway, last night I had a really weird dream and I can't help but think my subconcious was trying to tell me something. I was sitting in a strange place with a group of my closest friends, plus a few imaginary ones. I say strange, because I was sitting at a picnic table outside somewhere and it was one of those places thats half real and half fantasy, do you ever have those in your dreams? Anyway. This girl (who is a real person in my life) showed up and was trying to turn all of my friends against me. Finally, I stood up for myself and said something like ''these are my friends, we're having a good time, and if you aren't going to be nice to everyone then you need to leave.''

One thing you should probably know, is I have a habit of getting really down on myself and going through periods where I'm super critical of my body. I also go through periods where I wonder if I would be friends with myself if I had the chance. WELL, the mean girl in my dream responded by asking me why any of my friends even like me or hang out with me in the first place, and without hesitation I said "Because I'm really fun to be around, and you may be prettier or skinnier than I am but you're not a nice person''.

I think I was trying to tell myself that looks aren't everything, and that I do have qualities that draw my friends to me. The dream got weird, because one of my friends started going into labor and then we were all attending Satan's funeral... yeah.... funny how that took a turn for the super creepy!

So, I woke up this morning in a really great mood (because I love remembering a good dream) and to top it off, it's freakin' beautiful outside. The best part of this story, is that today while I was putting gas in my car this random creepster told me that he thought I was ''really pretty''. When you're married, you take evey compliment from the opposite sex as an ego boost, kind of like 'I've still got it!' ... at least I do anyway.

The universe has a way of reminding us things, such as the reality that each person is beautiful in their own way, and if you're spending all of your time focusing on the negatives you really start to miss the positives. And I thought that maybeeeee there was some one out there who needed to hear this as much as I did... so there you have it -- you are beautiful, and not in the 'everyone's beautiful on the inside' type of way... you are REALLY beautiful! I'm sure that there's some one out there who thinks about your beauty every single morning when they wake up and just before they go to bed. So hug yourself, and be nice to yourself! And I'll try to do the same :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Check it! - v.01

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Hey, bloggers! One thing that I really love about Richmond City is the art scene, and how everywhere you turn there's something beautiful to look at -- be it murals, statues, art shows, or even just plain old graffiti. Another thing that I really, really love is supporting local artists and small businesses. I think that's really important, because where would we be without the creative backbones in our communities?

Each week I want to spend a little time highlighting some of the things I've discovered, and I'd love for you to include some links in the comment section of things you have found as well!

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One thing that caught my eye this week was this amazing print I found on Etsy. Maymont Park is one of my favorite places in Richmond, and this spot is a favorite for many weddings and outdoor parties. I encourage you to check out Art Skark Designs -- maybe you'll find an adorable print of your city!

Another obsession that I have is The Bungaloe Market, and although this isn't really ''Richmond'' related, I thought I'd share anyway.... because I can't tell you the amount of time I spend each week drooling over this shop! I love this knit hat, and a friend bought me this cowl for Christmas and I've worn it almost every single day (kind of sad it's getting warmer and I'll have to put it away for a while)!

Last but certainly not least, is one of my favorite places to look at art in Richmond -- Art Works. Sean and I had our wedding reception here, and every now and then we like to visit and look at all of the local art on display. They have a ton of cool things going on this month, and if you happen to be in the area I highly recommend checking them out!

[On an entirely different note, it's been exactly 1 year since the transplant. I don't really feel much different, other than a dull pain in my side that seems to come and go - which is normal. Mitchell seems to be doing ok for the time being, and my kidney seems to be working for him a little better than it had been several weeks ago. Crazy to think that this time last year, I was in a hospital bed! Time really flies, and this year has taught me so much about living for the moment and living life to the absolute fullest!]

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Movie Review x2

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This weekend was awesome, because I spent the majority of Saturday evening and Sunday watching movies. My favorite thing to do is bundle up in my pj's, a huge comforter, and snuggle up with my pups on the couch for a movie marathon. I can be there for 7 hours, and still feel like time has been well spent.

I've been begging Sean to watch The Human Centipede for months and months and months. Something about the overall weirdness and grossness of it all, but I was too chicken to watch it by myself. Finally, after begging and begging, Sean gave in. There isn't much to say about this film, other than the fact that the embarrassingly poor acting was somehow overshadowed by the constant knot in my stomach. It was so gross, that I literally gagged/dry heaved at one point and almost had to excuse myself to throw up. I do not recommend this movie to anyone with a weak stomach... and please don't watch it while eating dinner, like we did. There's a Second Sequence coming out, and I'll probably end up watching it for the same reason as the First Sequence -- curiosity.

To make up for it, we watched an older movie (2009) that I hadn't seen before called Law Abiding Citizen. I was really blown away by how good this movie is, and not just because I studied Criminal Justice in college. This film is about a man whose family has been murdered, and one of the killers is 'let off' with a plea bargain. As you may have already guessed, this man (who has nothing else to loose) takes matters into his own hands and exposes the Justice System for what it really is - politics and deal making. I was on the edge of my seat for the full 108 minutes, and was totally blown away by the  ending. If you haven't seen it yet, you must!

I also watched a few 'Classics' over the weekend, aka movies I could watch over and over and over again. The first was Eat, Pray, Love (Sean wasn't nearly as impressed), which I love because it reminds me to enjoy the moment and really get everything you can out of life. My favorite part of the movie is when Liz Gilbert and her friend from Italy are eating pizza and talking about body image.

I love when she says ''Let me ask you something, in all the years that you have...undressed in front of a gentleman has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out and left? No? It's because he doesn't care! He's in a room with a naked girl, he just won the lottery. I am so tired of saying no, waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know just how much self loathing to take into the shower. I'm going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I'm just through with the guilt. So this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to finish this pizza, and then we are going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow we are going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans." Every time I hear her say these words, I smile because it's as if she's talking directly to me.

The other movie I watched, again, is Avatar (another 2009 film). Let me just say, anything James Cameron writes and directs is going to take your breath away (For example, Titanic). But honestly, what better 'tree hugger' movie is there? Every time I watch this, I get sad because #1 Pandora doesn't exist.... and #2, if it did exist, I'm sure we'd destroy it just like we have our own environment. I love the constant references to the connection the natives have with nature, and the imagery could not have been done better. I feel like it's the 'grown up' version of Fern Gully, one of my all time favorite movies growing up!

Speaking of really great movies -- has anyone seen the trailer for Water for Elephants? I can't wait to see this film, because I have this weird obsession/curiosity with circus life... embarrassingly, this is why I listened to the Something Corporate song Walking By on repeat all throughout college. Ahhh, memories.

What are you watching? Any recommendations?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A 10k, and thoughts on solitude.

I don't normally blog on the weekends, because I stay pretty busy hanging out with my friends and usually enjoy the time away from the computer. However, tonight I'm taking a small break from the 'celebrations' and I'm pretty surprised at how much is blocked from my work computer and how much easier it is to blog from home. For instance, I can't even upload pics at work without first hosting them onto another website (really annoying). Also, videos are kind of out of the question, because I'm not computer savvy enough to figure out how to jump through those hoops... yet. So, in honor of being at home on a normal computer, I thought I'd show you a little promo video that I just found on the Sportsbackers website (they fund the 10k I participated in today).


 As I've said time and time again, I'm a sucker for anything that brings a community together. As corney as this may sound... I almost got teary-eyed this morning when I looked around at the 40,000 other participants and hundreds more along the streets cheering us all on. It was pretty cool. 

Our community does a Monument Ave 10k every year, and I missed it last year but participated the year before and remembered having a complete and total blast. It's 6.3 miles up and down our (very famous) Monument Avenue and the streets are lined with local bands, cheerleaders, and different groups in our community handing out water and cheering for the runners at the top of their lungs. 

This year, I signed up with Sean and both of our dad's. I had been running a little in the gym (ok... a lot), but the plan was to all stick together and walk the entire race. Well turns out, David (my father in law) had other plans. At the starting line he started jogging through the crowd, and I followed because I figured he was just trying to get to an open space for us to all walk side by side. Well... he kept jogging and I had to make an instant decision to either wait for Sean and my dad, or try and keep up with David. I decided to follow.. because first of all I knew they wouldn't mind, and second of all... I thought it would be cool to spend some time with David one on one.

I made the right decision. It was really, really cool jogging and walking and bonding with David... and I couldn't believe how fast he can run! He really pushed me, and as I crossed the finish line (in an hour and a half!) it felt really, really good to know that I gave it 110%. Also, you have no idea how big of an ego boost it was to start out in the last heat and finish 3 heats up -- we literally passed several hundred people, talk about runner's high! It was also great to talk to Sean about how much he enjoyed walking and talking with my dad. All in all,  I feel like it made our family tighter than it already was... which is so awesome!

After the race, I felt like my legs were going to fall right off. My upper thighs are still really sore, but a good sore -- the kind that makes me want to start running long distances like this more often. We all ate lunch at Sine's (which really is the best place to eat in the city) and it was cool to see Shockoe Bottom all decked out for the VCU game tonight. Yet another heartwarming moment, thinking about how a college basketball team has really pulled our city together. Love it :)

Well, we came home and showered and I took a small nap. Sean decided to go out and I......... well, I decided to stay in and watch trashy reality television snuggled up with my pups. It's just that I've been on the go for so many weekends straight, and I had forgotten what it's like to be by myself. I think that deep deep down, I need time to myself to 're-charge', and while I don't consider myself an introvert... I do realize that my body needs time in solitude every once in a while, especially since it's been go go go go go lately. And, I've really had a nice time with myself tonight... obsessing over youtube video's and watching Happy Feet. I'm trying to decide if I want to watch The Human Centipede tonight or not, mostly because I'm home alone and I don't want to get too freaked out. But if and when I watch this, you can bet on a 'Movie Review'.... I've heard this movie is completely disgusting and my friend told me she couldn't eat meat for a few days after. Interesting.

I'll leave you on a brighter note. I was looking through some of my favorite blogs today, and Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno put up a really cool video that really made me miss my dreads.

Agreed... this girl is absolutely gorgeous and could probably pull anything off, but I really think her dreads are perfect! (she also makes me really want a cool/sexy accent...)

I also got creepily obsessed with this girl. She seems like such a cool person, and again... pretty dreads  (so sad she took them out!) and a damn cool accent!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, and taking time to be with yourself and rest your body!
(I'm online shopping in my pj's... doesn't really get much better)

Friday, April 01, 2011

somebody has to say it - v.03

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Somebody has to say it... American's have sexualized breastfeeding to the point where some women have to join internet communities like La Leche in order to feel validated in their decision to 'go against the grain' and not bottle feed their children. La Leche is such an amazing resource, and there are so many others out there, but has our society really gotten to the point where breastfeeding is so TABOO? I realize that some new mama's [like my own] aren't quite comfortable with the process, while others [like my husband's mama] simply aren't able... but if you can, shouldn't you?

Admittedly, I don't have children yet so I don't know first hand what it feels like to breastfeed. But I will say this -- given the benefits of breast milk over formula, I can't really imagine giving my newborn [or toddler, for that matter] second-rate nutrients, especially after nine long months of what I'm sure is to be unexplainable discomfort [as I allow another person to totally take over my body, thus giving up three things I love dearly: cigarettes, alcohol and lunch meat... to name a few]. I believe that once you have a child, it is no longer about 'you' anymore... and it's important to do everything in your power to keep this little person as healthy as humanly possible. And healthy as humanly possible includes breastfeeding.

[The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at LEAST the first year. See a list of benefits here.]

Lately I've found out that this topic makes people extremely uncomfortable, which is a shame. I like to discuss articles that I've read, blogs, books, etc. [especially about this topic] and it's really strange how instantly guarded people become. For example, when I tell people that I'm interested in breastfeeding my little one [I don't even go into the benefits of baby-led weaning... learned that the hard way]... people generally start immediately listing the negatives, such as 'you know it's painful, riiight?' or 'I hope you don't plan on breastfeeding in public, that's gross' or my personal favorite, 'formula is JUST as healthy as breast milk'.  Is it fair that I'm getting judged for this decision, when I'm not [admittedly, openly] judging them for theirs?

I usually respond by telling them that breastfeeding is not a sexual act, and I will not be hiding in a bathroom stall or my car when feeding my child. Sorry. Do your research.

This doll has recently sparked some debate, and I think it's complete ludicrous. There are dolls out there who poop, pee, cry, why not a doll that breast feeds? To be fair, 99.9% of dolls come with bottles to be fed with... why is the bottle normalized and the breast isn't? I'll tell you why -- because America sees breasts as sexual, and that is our society's loss. Because there is so much that is lost when a mother decides to bottle feed their newborns, and a lot of the time their decision is based on others pressuring them to avoid it. It's hard to breastfeed when even your husband or family doesn't have your back... and those with a lack of support are the group of women [and children] that I feel the sorriest for.

[By the way, this blog is amazingly packed with information on not only breastfeeding, but a ton of other good stuff like home birth, water birth, and placentophagy... I bow down in honor of her natural mama goddess ways!]
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