Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Best: Sundance Style

fedora: Delia's, vest: Smith's, top: Head Over Heels, skirt: Alloy, sandals: Head Over Heels necklace: Buckle

After a stressful week at work, a weekend getaway at Sundance Resort is just what the doctor ordered. It was nice spending time tucked up in the mountains with my main squeeze, BWell. We stayed in a quaint cabin where we watched Robert Redford movies late into the night. Most of Saturday was spent in hiking clothes, getting filthy as we hiked up to Stewart Falls (it was gorgeous). However, into the afternoon, I cleaned up a bit and we headed into Park City where we hit up the outlets. Brian was in great need of clothes (he only owned two pairs of shorts before our outing) and I needed new running shoes. Then we came back to the resort and had dinner. The only way the day could have ended better was if we met Robert Redford (he was staying at Sundance this weekend too!). 

Have I ever mentioned I have this big fat celebrity crush on Robert Redford? Yeah, he's old enough to be my grandpa. But seriously. Plus, Jeremiah Johnson is one of my very favorite movies.

PS- Follow Little Bird on bloglovin if you know what's good for you. Google Reader is getting the ax TOMORROW and I really don't want to lose track of you and your bad self. Or if you are my friend on Facebook, I'm constantly annoying everyone by posting links to every latest post. Have a happy week and a grand Independence Day (probably my second favorite holiday after Christmas). Peace.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday Best: Go with the Flow

shirt: Smith's, skirt: Ross, flats: Old Navy, necklace: Rue 21, leather cuff bracelet: Millie Made

It's Monday, almost the end of Monday, in fact. Sunday just weaseled on past me so here I am, posting this Sunday Best on a late Monday afternoon. No problem. I can go with the flow. 

Also, I wore this flowing blue skirt to go grocery shopping last week. Because sometimes, you just need to wear what you feel like wearing in order to conquer the grocery store. 

Except I highly suggest you do not wear whatever you feel like wearing when visiting your dad's tire shop. Because then you will end up with a dirty scuff on your bright orange shoe. Oh wait, that's just me? Well, aren't I just a hot mess. 

I hope you have a happy week. Which you probably will since Monday is almost over and I am guessing you hate Mondays. Too bad for me because I like Mondays and actually dislike Tuesdays, but we are getting onto a whole different subject now.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Modesty, it's an Attitude

Here I go. Another post riddled with my silly opinions. However, guess what? You don't have to agree or even read.

So it seems that the discussion of wearing a bikini and modesty in particular is a hot subject right now (at least in the Mormon world). A few weeks ago, I saw this floating around Facebook and decided to read it. I found that I was very irritated with what I read.

Sure, the author made a few good points. However, the main point I just could not get on board with. This is what first irked me:

 So why don’t you just wear a bikini, you ask? Why? Because I am making a sacrifice for the guys around me. 

Her reasoning for avoiding a bikini was to make a sacrifice for men. It does not bother me that she chooses not to wear bikinis. That's fine. I, personally, do not feel comfortable in a bikini unless I'm just laying out to read a book, and even then, I'm really picky about what kind of bikini I will tan in. So that doesn't bug me. What bugs me is how modesty often becomes something that is all about dress, all about women dressing modestly, and all about women dressing modestly to help the men keep their pants on.

Modesty is personal. It should be about much more than dressing a certain way to get the stamp of approval from others. I choose to dress modestly for myself, and my personal choices of modesty are just that: personal. It makes me feel more confident in my actions and behaviors. For me, dressing modestly helps me focus more on my soul and my mind. Not only that, but I feel that it directly strengthens my relationship with my Heavenly Father (this post might get kind of LDS specific, so sorry if my references confuse anyone).

I found the following on my church's website:

Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19).

This also brings up the point that modesty comes down to much more than just dress. Modesty is humility; being humble in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. Therefore, if you choose to dress a certain way yet ridicule and judge another for the way they dress, I don't think you are showing very modest behavior (just my personal opinion). Dressing modestly and then turning around to say, "Look how so-and-so dresses. What a skank," is NOT a good example of modesty. You are not glorifying God when you do this, you are glorifying yourself by tearing another down and putting yourself above them. Judging others is not a good path to modesty. It's something I am much too guilty of and I am working on it. After all, it does me much more harm than the people I waste time judging. Also, how someone else chooses to dress has zero affect on my own modesty. It's really none of my business.

Another point in the post that bothered me, was the comparison of women to cake:

 I think we can all agree that as girls, exercise is important to us. We want to stay healthy and are often working on getting fit. We work out and stay away from carbs or sweets. We use all of our willpower to not eat the chocolate cake on the counter! Now, let’s pretend that someone picked up that chocolate cake and followed us around all the time, 24/7. We can never get away from the chocolate, it’s always right there, tempting us and even smelling all ooey gooey and chocolate-y. Most of us, myself included, would find it easy to break down and eat the cake. And we would probably continue to break down and eat cake, because it would always be there. Our exercise goals would be long gone in no time.
This is how I imagine it is for guys. Girls are walking around all the time with barely any clothes on at the beach or pool! Guys can never get a break from it, even if they’re trying to see past all the bodies to find the smiles and personalities within the girls.

First off, who says we stay away from carbs or sweets? Pass the chocolate cake, please. But in all seriousness, this metaphor made the feminist in me want to gag. I do not want to be compared to ooey gooey chocolate cake. I am a human being with feelings, ideas, dreams, and desires. I do not want to be compared to something that will be drooled over and devoured unless I hide my body. I hope and pray for women and girls out there that your reasoning for modesty is not because you think your body is shameful or tempting. Sadly, I think this idea often gets tied to modesty. However, it is quite the opposite. In my own life, when I have chosen to cover up, it helps me feel more beautiful and I have gone to new heights in respecting myself and my body. It makes me feel like a person and not a sex object. However, if you are covering up in order to "protect the guys" or so "people won't look at you a certain way", you are still turning yourself into a sex object. Just in a different way. You are thinking, I must cover up because my body is a bad thing that should not be desired, rather than, I choose to cover up because I want my mind and personality to be desired along with my body. So I guess my main hope with modesty, is that we choose to live it because it makes us feel like better and happier people, not because we feel shamed into doing it, thinking our bodies are bad things. Taken from For The Strength of Youth pamphlet, regarding modesty:

Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. 

After reading the article that I saw being reposted by many of my friends, I thought to myself that maybe I was being silly. Perhaps I was getting worked up about something that was really no big deal at all. So that night, I had Brian read the article, without telling him my thoughts on it. When I asked what he thought, he answered,

"I'm kind of mad. This makes it sound like men have no control. We can be accountable."

Then I suddenly had this new perspective. Not only can these certain ideas about modesty be degrading to women, but men too. Let's give the guys some credit. Besides, I have a feeling any guy who has dirty thoughts about the girl wearing the bikini will have the same dirty thoughts about the girl wearing the one piece.

Like I already mentioned, this is just my own opinion and maybe I am bat shiz crazy. I would love to hear opinions and thoughts on the subject. I really do find modesty a fascinating subject.

Other articles regarding this same subject I've seen floating around:

The Evolution of the Swimsuit

Men, Sex, and Modesty

I really enjoyed both these articles. While I don't agree with everything said in them, I thought they were both very well done. So, what say ye? What does modesty mean to you?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Brave Girls Club

Over the course of the last few months, my mom has been taking online art classes. The classes are about much more than just making art though, it's also about finding the everyday beauty in your own life and in yourself. My mom has been making friends all over the country, sending and receiving art in the mail, and she even started her own Etsy shop.

The organization that puts on the art classes is called Brave Girls Club. They also put on art retreats for women. My mom just so happened to win a personal art retreat in an auction, so she invited me and my aunt to join her for a weekend with the Brave Girls.

It was such an enjoyable weekend to get away and go to Boise, spend time with lovely women, eat good food, and make art. Walking into the adorable turquoise "Art Barn" was a dream. The inside was decked out with art. The walls were plastered with colorful and uplifting paintings. When I walked in, I felt like my troubles were swallowed up by the colorful patterns on the walls, ceilings, and floors and in return, I was bombarded by happiness. I felt like Katie from the cartoon of Horton Hears a Who . . . "In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies." If you've never seen Horton Hears a Who, you have no idea what I am talking about. Also, you are missing out.   

I came home feeling inspired, radiant, and uplifted. I highly suggest you get familiar with the ladies at Brave Girls Club. They are doing wonderful work. Their organization is about creating and putting beauty out into the world, and in the process, helping you find your own inner beauty. What could be better than that?

Thanks, Brave Girls! We hope to pay another visit to the Art Barn in the future.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thunder Thighs: Fighting the Thigh Gap

I have a weird body. I am not being negative about myself here, just being honest. While I've always been thin, maybe even scrawny, I also have broad shoulders and very athletically built legs. I’m the girl who has the constant battle of finding pants that fit since I have narrow hips with no waist, yet I have thick thighs and calves. I’m the girl who finds a shirt that fits my flat chest perfectly, but then I have the battle of taking it off without ripping the seams as I try to tear it past my hulkish shoulders.

And I realize from that description, maybe it sounds like I do not like my body but that is false. Every girl fights body image issues, it’s a sad truth. However, I think I've suffered with my body image issues less than many girls. What it comes down to is that I have a healthy and strong body. That is what is most important to me. I feel beautiful in my body because my body is capable of doing amazing things. Through eating right and staying active, I appreciate my body as a whole more and pick it apart less.

We live in a world that constantly tells us we are not good enough. You aren't curvy enough. You aren't skinny enough. Your hair is too thin. Your hair is too thick. You are too fair. You are too dark. How does a girl ever expect to win? One of the latest unhealthy trends enforced upon women is something known as the thigh gap.

I came across this very well-done article by the ladies at Beauty Redefined which addressed the epidemic of the thigh gap. When I read this article, I had no clue what a thigh gap even was, but it sounded bad. I looked into it more and discovered it’s when a girl stands with her feet together, and a small gap (or for some, a very wide one) appears between her upper thighs. I read on a blog post while searching for thigh gap information (which I refuse to even link the post because the writer is an idiot) that, “a woman with beautiful legs has three diamonds.” This means when standing with the feet together, a gap supposedly should appear from the ankles to knees, the knees to the thighs, and (the thigh gap part) the upper thighs to the crotch.

I then decided to muster up the courage to do a Google image search for “thigh gap”. I wouldn't suggest it if you get offended easily. What I found were pictures of girls and women who were entirely too thin, flaunting their frail looking legs and wide thigh gaps.

 Nothing about it looked sexy to me. Actually, it was quite disturbing. Some of the pictures were comparable to young women I visited in a hospital back when I went to Ethiopia years ago. These were girls, in a hospital, waiting to die. They were disease-stricken with the AIDS virus and malnourished. It was honestly one of the most terrifying and emotional experiences of my life, weaving in and out of those hospital beds in this foreign country, trying to comfort girls my same age who could not even find the strength to lift their own heads. This is what the “desirable” thigh gap reminded me of: sick and dying girls.
I was totally perplexed by reading up on this. A thigh gap? This is a real thing? Since when was it attractive to have chicken legs? Since when was it a trend to look malnourished? Then I wondered, “Do I have a thigh gap? I don’t think I have a thigh gap. Maybe a tiny one?”

Now guys, I am a thin person. I am the poor child who never felt loved because I was kicked off anyone and everyone’s laps for having a “bony butt” that was “hurting their leg”. But apparently this bony butt has more meat on it than anyone thought.

I went to the full body mirror in my room and stood with my feet touching. When I made sure I was standing in the correct position, I looked up at my reflection. I had absolutely no thigh gap, none whatsoever. My right thunder thigh pressed firmly against my left thunder thigh.

If you were to ask me what my favorite physical feature about myself is, I would probably say my legs. I have always loved having strong and athletic legs. It’s something I take pride in. So while the thigh gap people preach against any kind of exercise that builds leg muscle, I often focus on building leg muscle. Many of my workouts are filled with squats, calf raises, lunges, wall sits, and hill/stadium runs. I want toned legs, not sticks for legs. I want bulging thighs that reveal no sign of a thigh gap. I want legs that can carry me up steep mountains, sprint across finish lines of races, and jump high on trampolines. I have a feeling a thigh gap aint gonna do any of that for me.

Now if you have a thigh gap naturally, I am not bagging on you at all. Don’t think I’m saying you are an unhealthy, gross person. The problem comes when girls and women go to extreme circumstances trying to achieve a thigh gap. Women are starving themselves, tearing themselves down, and doing harmful things to their bodies to try and develop a thigh gap. From what I've read, a thigh gap is actually not achievable for many body types, like my own.

A thigh gap actually has more to do with bone structure than muscle or fat. Women who have wide set hips are more likely to have a thigh gap. Women with narrow hips (like me) will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to have a thigh gap. So that’s that. Good luck changing your bones.

I am speaking out against the thigh gap epidemic. If we all speak out as individuals, we can possibly create change. So, please, will you do the same? Speak out when you see a Photo-shopped image, where it’s obvious they manipulated the image to make the woman have a thigh gap. Refuse to shop at stores where their models portray this unhealthy body image.

a photo-shopped image to give Beyonce a thigh gap 

 Most importantly, love yourself. As women, we must accept our bodies and realize their beauty. Don’t pick yourself apart. Don’t go to unhealthy measures to reach an unattainable body type. Don’t beat yourself up. Next time you look in the mirror, think of all the things you see in yourself that you love, ignore the rest. Eat healthy, exercise, love your body, and think of all the things you are capable of. Your body is the home of your sweet soul. Don’t stop at loving yourself, love your fellow women. Tell others they look beautiful. Spread the compliments. Our thoughts and words can be powerful.

Now I’m going to go flaunt my thunder thighs. Anyone want to Indian leg wrestle?  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Around a Fire

Summer always truly starts for me after the first fire. Going to the pool and getting a sunburn, wearing shorts for the first time of the year, and eating corn on the cob are all signs of summer too, but a fire where people I love are gathered around it is the first sign.

My high school year summer breaks are filled with memories of fires. Coming from a small town where over half the kids had to work their tails off all day on farms, we didn't always spend our days at the pool, the lakes, shopping, or whatever else. Sure, there were times for those things. But a summer night fire was a regular thing for us all. When the sun started setting and the work for the day was over, we were set free for the night. If I wasn't sending a text out about a fire somewhere, I was receiving a text. It was always an open invitation too, you were expected to pass the message along in hopes that a load of people would show up. Sometimes there was food. Sometimes not. Sometimes we met at the lakes where the fire was on the beach, close to the water. Other times we would make a journey up a canyon, across rough dirt roads that you needed four-wheel drive to survive on, and we would start a fire on some mountain top, overlooking the valley. And then there were times we kept things simple and met up at the park where camp chairs, blankets, and picnic tables were pulled around a fire pit. 

It might sound a little lame to some people, but it wasn't. We loved it. We would all bring food to contribute and pig out and sometimes we would just sit around the fire, stare into the flames and think our seventeen year old lives were the greatest and most significant things ever (ha). If things got really rowdy, boys would show up with bottle rockets and throw them into the fire. They would then shoot off randomly and it was the most terrifying thing ever. On one occasion, an old sofa some people brought started on fire due to a bottle rocket. It was quickly put out. Just remembering some of these things makes me shake my head and wonder how in the world we all survived without starting a forest fire. 

Although food cooked over an open flame is great and there were nights filled with dancing and lighting things on fire, my favorite memories of those fires were the hours of conversation. It's funny how much closer you can feel to people when you talk to them around a fire with a moon and stars over your head. 

Although I am a bit older now and we don't invite the whole town, I still love having fires on any given summer night. A few weeks ago, we had our first of the year up Logan Canyon. We found the perfect camp site and invited our friends Rauren (Richie and Lauren) and Jayla (Jace and Shayla) . . . and we can't forget baby Claire! 

Everyone made food contributions so we could have a tasty dinner. We sat around, laughed, and talked. That troublemaker Claire wanted to toss bottle rockets in the fire but we had to stop her. Richie and Laur will have their hands full with that girl ;).

Now I will leave you with "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys since it says the word fire, but mostly just since I love it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Best: Super Duper T-shirt

vest: Smith's, t-shirt: Wet Seal, pants: Kohl's, boots: Kmart, necklace: Nordstrom

I saw this t-shirt in Wet Seal a while back and had no choice but to buy it. I mean, it's an Avengers t-shirt. Duh. I'll be saving so much money on t-shirts with the plethora of super hero movies that come out. 

Captain America 2? I'll wear this t-shirt. 

Thor 2? This t-shirt. 

Avengers 2? You guessed it, this t-shirt wins again! 

I also wore this shirt to Iron Man 3. I bet you could have guessed that. 

So you get the idea, it really pays off that I bought this shirt. In all honesty, I would probably consider this t-shirt an investment. 

Also, sometimes when BWell takes my outfit pictures, he talks me into doing ridiculously stupid poses. Such as acting like a super hero. Or flexing like a super hero (and the end result is a picture of me looking constipated). I think we can all agree I should never be a fashion blogger, for obvious reasons. I should also not pick up the career of being a super hero. But I will continue wearing super hero t-shirts to work and feeling like I'm hardcore. 

Speaking of work, my boss still has made no mention of my blue hair. Which makes me very happy. I have yet to be labeled as "inappropriate" at work. Although I did ask if we could turn Rush Limbaugh off the other day, which may be a bad thing. But I just couldn't hear him say "Obama" one more time or my head would explode. Sometimes I hate politics.