Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's Spring...It's 'Beach Body' Time

Spring is around the corner and so are the ads telling you to get your body 'beach ready'.
Next time you see such an ad or hear a commercial asking you if "your body is ready for the beach"...listen closely.

Listen to what it's really asking you...because I guarantee you whatever kind of human body you have, it is, one way or another, already ready to go to a beach. The beach does not care what you look like, how much you weigh, or what kind of bathing suit you're sporting. The beach takes you as you are.
That question is NOT asking if you are ready for the beach.
The question is about other people. "Is your body ready for the judging, critical gaze of your fellow humans at the beach." That's the question. Stop and think about that for a second.
The question is begging you to think the absolute worst about other people. But, if you know the following 2 things to be true, then you won't even need to answer such a silly question.

Thing 1 you need to know about having a beach body: Most people on this planet do not give two hoots what you look like. They don't care if you have cellulite, stretch marks, chubby ankles, a thigh gap or a cleavage. Most people in this world have better things to think about. Hundreds of other things.

Thing 2: The very few people who do make it their business to have an opinion on how you look in a bathing suit, and do not love you or appreciate just the way you are, can screw the hell off. Why would someone as smart and lovely as you care what they think? Seriously.

If you decide you know those 2 things, then rest assured that you and your amazing self are ready for summer, the beach, the pool; whatever...and once you know that, you're free. You can ignore the 'beach body' propaganda and you're free to enjoy an active, healthy, sunny summer outside, being good to yourself and inspiring your friends to do the same. x

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Changing the Focus...Worth Saying Again!

Back in 2012 I put together a top five list of ways to get the focus off our girl's appearance. Here's that post again, for old times' sake. If you know a parent who seems to be at a loss, watching their daughter absorb the onslaught of harmful media messages that fill their world, share this post. You never know, it might be something that someone just needs to see today. :)
For girls to understand and believe that their worth does not revolve around their appearance and clothes, they have to have an opportunity to feel a sense of pride from somewhere else; to receive positive and motivating feedback about something else and to see that their thoughts and actions have more of a positive impact on their community and their world than however they dress or whatever they look like.

So, here are the Top 5 ways that we can encourage girls to feel that they are more than what they look like:

1. Get them involved in some kind of community service. It is important for teens especially, to appreciate that there are problems in the world that they can contribute to in a positive way. Get them helping out. Volunteering for teens should not just be about satisfying a requirement for high school credits - if you can help ignite a passion for a cause in your community, the focus on self shifts, and that time and energy can be channelled to something amazing. Perhaps they can find a place at a humane society, sharing their compassion for animals, or perhaps they enjoy cooking and can prepare meals for a shelter. It doesn't matter - the point is that the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from giving and helping creates confidence and we need girls who are confident in what they do.

2. Sports. It doesn't matter if you think your daughter or niece is 'athletic' or 'competitive' or whatever other labels we like to use on school kids. Get girls involved in something. Think outside the box to find something that suits their personality. Don't confine yourself to traditional team activities - in addition to soccer and baseball and ice-hockey, look for women's rugby teams, water polo teams, and think about golf, yoga and swimming. Physical activity to keep healthy, develop sportsmanship, and to forge new friendships is never a bad thing, and for girls with a competitive streak, it's a healthy way for them to win (and of course, lose).


3. Technology. Let them be nerds. Or geeks. Or whatever it is that people call kids that like math and science these days. EMBRACE IT. Encourage them, and compliment them on their tenacity for problem solving, or their commitment to the computer club. Girls can easily be nudged out of this realm by other people who make them feel they are not being girly or feminine enough so if there is a girl in your life showing signs of interest in this area - let her know she is awesome. Take her to science museums, or to your local flying school, take your tween outside and watch the International Space Station fly over your house at night. Look up some awesome role models for her - astronauts, engineers, pilots, inventors, scientists and run with it.

4. Find and support a hobby. Perhaps the Girl Guides is a good fit, or a specific art or craft, or a musical instrument, but get your girl doing something. If she's busy using her body and mind to create things, or design things then she's less likely to be worried about what she's wearing, or what she looks like. It takes the focus off the superficial, and gives her free time some specific meaning. You need to work with your girl to find something that makes her tick. Look around, try new things and when you find something, support it.

5. Finally, find a way to introduce your girl to elderly women who can inspire her with their wisdom, humor and wit. Girls need to see that women are beautiful at all ages, and that beauty radiates from within. Elderly women, whose skin and hair and bodies don't match what the media tells us is the beauty ideal, force us to reconsider what the definition of beauty is. Girls who can see past wrinkles and age spots and waistlines and grey hair in others, have more of chance of seeing past their blemishes and stray hairs and cellulite. Think of people in your life whose beauty radiates from their heart and introduce her to the girl in your life.

Remember, if the images in the media are all your daughter sees, then that is all she will know.
Show her that there's more to her life than what meets the eye, and give her the opportunity to live it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lego Lover's Party!

Alrighty - I know I haven't blogged in MONTHS, but what can I say, the Facebook page is just more fun ; )
I came on here today though to blog the birthday party we just had for the kiddo. He's 6, and a massive Lego fan, so naturally a Lego party-planning frenzy ensued. It's such a fun and easy theme. Aside from the activities we did below, we put a giant tub of Lego in the middle of the room and that alone kept the kids entertained for ages. Here's the pictures from the party - from the invites to the games to the cake. Much of it inspired by Pinterest of course! Enjoy...

Here's an example the invite we sent out. Y'all don't need to know my address, you know, in case you come a-knocking for leftover cake, so this is the one from the Etsy store that makes them ;)


The best part about party planning is coming up with the games and activities. My oh-so talented husband made this game - Pin the Smile on the Minifigure. We just made 8 smiles for the kids to put on, blindfolded. They loved it!


I threw a bunch of Lego blocks and pieces in a plastic container and had the kids guess how many pieces were in the jar. You could give the Lego away as a prize, but I had other prizes on hand for the winners.


We had a table for quiet colouring - for the kids who weren't big 'builders' and printed off pages for the kids to design their own Minifigures. There were some awesome creations!


I picked up some Lego related prizes on sale when I saw them and then found some cool Lego wrapping paper. The kiddo also made a little holder for smaller prizes - like the suckers.


I found some Lego candy blocks at the Bulk Barn and so in addition to putting them out on the table, I also bagged some up with a little ribbon to pop into the loot bags for the kids to take home. 



 Speaking of the Loot Bags, they were super easy to make. I just cut out circles and stuck them to the front of paper bags to create a Lego block look. I think they were a hit! 



The birthday boy was super excited to help with the decorating and planning too. He made this sign for the front entrance and also the cutlery holder for the table. 



We made Lego block sandwiches, by cutting out circles (using a water bottle lid) and pressing them on with a little bit of cream cheese. The kids (and the kid's parents absolutely loved these!)


An insanely talented friend of mine made the cake! 


The kids thought it was a cool cake, and then we cut it! Look inside! Agh! Surprise! :)


My friend also made these cute cookies. There were plenty for eating at the party and then each kid also got to take one home in a little bag in their loot bag.


Our dining room table only seats 6, so we actually rented a long table and 8 chairs from a local Party Supply company, and it worked out great. I loved how everything looked when it was all set up!
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It was an awesome day - the kids had a blast. And hopefully it will be a birthday to remember for my little Lego-lover  :)

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