Monthly Archives: April 2013

Image

Why That Fairy Tale Mindset Needs to End

Almost every single childhood fairy tale story or movie has the same storyline: woman needs rescued, man saves the day. The end. After recently re-watching this Sex and the City episode and simultaneously reading a chapter in Shauna Niequist’s Bittersweet titled “Princess-free Zone” I got to thinking about how destructive this fairy tale mindset actually is. One simple line from the chapter stuck out to me: “It drives me bonkers when women depend instead on their sexuality or their fragility. I think there’s a better way.” 

I couldn’t agree more.

We women grew up watching movies and reading stories and playing dolls where the male figure sweeps in to save the day and rescue the lost, confused or scared female figure. When we were too old for standard storybook fairy tales, we moved on to a different, yet frightening similar, cultural messaging and media portrayal of women. In these stories, women used their bodies to get what they wanted; these women were frail and weak and depended on men to save them yet again. The only difference is that the men weren’t always portrayed quite literally as a knight in shining armor like in those Disney movies.

There was a phase during high school where I wouldn’t answer questions out loud in class because I didn’t want to be considered smart.  Instead of acting like a confident, outgoing sixteen-year-old girl, I would play the confused dumb blonde role just to sadly enough, have people pay attention to me. I’ve always been friendly, easy to get along with and happy and was fearful that being smart and simply being myself would jeopardize those things. That’s when the dumb questions and the flakiness would slowly seep into my conversations and interactions and turn me into someone I wasn’t. This VICE article shares more insight {some truthful, some just hilarious} at why girls play dumb.

This isn’t something I’m proud of and it’s not who I was raised to be. I was taught to take control of and responsibility for my own actions, that I have a good head on my shoulders. I was taught to speak openly and intelligently and to expect that everyone, both males and females, older and younger, treat me with respect and dignity. I was taught to be independent and at the same time, collaborate and work with others as equals in any and all situations. I was taught to work hard, to never back down and to wholeheartedly follow my dreams and my faith. My hope and prayer is that more women learn that they don’t need someone else to save them. Women have the capacity and opportunity to be self-reliant, self-sufficient and perhaps most important of all, self-loving.

Don’t get me wrong: I am a girly girl in lots of ways through and through. I always have been – including during that terrifying dumb blonde phase of high school –  and don’t see it changing any time soon. I enjoy getting my nails done, I wear heels most days of the week and I could talk about almost any and every fashion show or monthly magazine cover. I like to be taken out on dates and prefer to talk about the latest shoe trend rather than the latest football game score. I don’t want you to mistake me for being anti-feminine or to confuse femininity with fragility.

To the men out there, please celebrate confidence, intelligence, strength, passion and kindness in women and not just their sexuality or fragility. To the lovely women reading this, quit relying on men to rescue you and quit depending on men to make you feel beautiful or accepted. That’s putting a whole lot of pressure ON THEM – and doing yourself a disservice. You are not complete because you have the attention from a guy and you don’t need someone else to figure it all out for you, to tell you what is or isn’t beautiful, smart or wonderful.  It’s time you view yourself as beautiful or accepted, regardless of what anyone – male or female – thinks. Don’t be afraid to be smart and don’t be afraid to go after what you want – whether that’s in your career, relationship or any other aspect of life.

I hope today and everyday you realize the the importance of being active with your own life – active with your decisions and conversations and interactions. I hope you embrace how gloriously freeing it is to take ownership for your own life; rather than watch someone else dictate or bulldoze you and your dreams, hopes and plans. Most of all, I hope you let go of that fairy tale mindset that whispers someone else needs to rescue you.

Lots of love,
Andi

Advertisements

share your life with the people you love

As you may know, I’m on a huge Shauna Niequist reading kick and can’t put her books down! I’m currently reading Bittersweet and one chapter of the book recently had me sobbing unconditionally like a small child. The chapter tells a story and shares advice from Shauna about carving time out of our busy day-to-day lives to spend with friends that matter the most. She shares how important it is to spend in-person time together and that if you’re lucky enough to have those close friends within walking distance, to soak it up to the best of your ability. A few bits and pieces from the chapter are below.

I’m blessed to have three of my best friends live in San Francisco. Sometimes I forget how exciting and awesome it is to have Ali, Courtney and Aimee, three of my friends-turned-sisters, live within walking distance of my apartment. I think that’s why this chapter in the book made me feel so weepy. It was a definite reminder to value the IN-PERSON time I have with the people I love. I was also reminded of my other friends-turned-sisters that I met in high school and college {Kristen, Caitlin, Stephanie, Tess and Paige to name a few} and how these words ring true: there is nothing quite like good, true, real friends. I don’t want the Christmas card type of friendship. I want the “I’m coming to visit this September!” friends, the I’m going to open my heart and soul up to you kind of friends. I’m thankful I’ve been given a handful of them and that we’ve valued this in-person company, despite the long flights and time difference.

This week, I’m remembering to share my life with the people I love. Hope you the the opportunity to do the same! xo

…possibly because the four years I lived there during college were the wildest and most disorienting years, punctuated by some of the sweetest moments in all of my life.

…and in those moments I realized why this kind of time together matters so much: because there are things you can’t know and questions you can’t ask, and memories you can’t recover via email and voicemail. it was about being there, and being there to really see what’s exactly the same and what’s totally different about each one of us.

…if you’re lucky enough to have your Monica and your Sara and your Kirsten all right in your very own town, I hope you soak it up, and that you lie around in each other’s backyards every Saturday afternoon or stay up late on one another’s porches three nights a week. But if you’re like me and if those faces are far away, get a weekend on the calendar and get there.

share your life with the people you love, even if it means saving up for a ticket and going without a few things for awhile to make it work. there are enough long lonely days of the same old thing and if you let enough years pass, and if you let the routine steamroll your life, you’ll wake up one day, isolated and weary, and wonder what happened to all of those old friends.

so walk across the street, or drive across town, or fly across the country, but don’t let really intimate loving friendships become the last item on a long to-do list. good friends are like breakfast. you think you’re too busy to eat breakfast, but then you find yourself exhausted and cranky halfway through the day, and discover that your attempt to save time totally backfired. in the same way, you can try to go it alone because you don’t have the time or because your house is too messy to have people over or because making new friends is like the very worst parts of dating. but halfway through a hard day or a hard week, you’ll realize in a flash that you’re breathtakingly lonely and that Christmas cards aren’t much company. Get up, make a phone call, buy a cheap ticket, open your front door.

…because there really is nothing like good friends, like the sounds of their laughter and the tones of their voices and the things they teach us in the quietest, smallest moments.

Friends 5

Friends 1

Friends 3

Friends 4

Friends 2

Image

Lovely Links

Friday! Friday! Friday! Hope you had a great week! Mine has been pretty busy {like everyone else…} but mixed in with fun. Tuesday we went to happy hour to celebrate Michelle’s upcoming adventurous move to NYC and Wednesday I went to the afternoon Giants game and met up with Claudine after work. Those precious hours before and after work are meant to be used to the fullest! Today I want to share a few favorite things I found online with you and a lovely piece of advice.

May this weekend be the start of something new – a mindset that focuses on making your life the best it can be, not just your 9-5 job. Have a fabulous one! xo

“Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their lives. I want to make my life, not just my job, the best it can be. The rest will work itself out.” —Reese Witherspoon

This make me cry.

The best photos from National Geographic

This college freshman vs. senior year article made me laugh

Beautiful reminder

So fun! My beautiful friend and roommate Aimee featured me on her adorable blog

For the technology obsessed, this is for you. Also this one!

Got a girl crush? This site is for you.

This blog post from Santi

I just purchased these adorable “happy things!” pencils

How to achieve happiness by changing your life

Photo found here.

Image

Thursday Thankful List: Big Sur

Happy Thursday! Today’s Thursday Thankful List is focused on the beauty of Big Sur and the enchanting experience I had visting over the weekend. While hiking and enjoying the beach were both amazing, one of my favorite moments from the trip was simply sitting by a stream. I sat along the water, listening to the slow water roll down the stream, crashing into rocks. I took the opportunity to journal {almost ten pages!} and a piece of what I wrote was a list of what I was thankful for at that moment. Here’s the list – and a few favorite photos from our trip.

Hope you have a great day – and take five extra minutes to write down what you’re thankful for. xo

The feathered dusting of powdered sugar
Pale pink sunset over the beach – too pretty to filter
Ombre skies – pink, orange, blue, purple in a row
Majestic redwood trees
Dirty hands
Nature walks down tree-lined paths
Green moss covering the mountain
Dinner in good company
Waking up to the sound of birds singing their morning song
Streams and the sound of cold water hitting rocks
Ponytail holders
Tree carvings
Climbing rocks in the ocean!
The opportunity to spend a full weekend with my mom
Picnic tables
Feet in the sand
The not-quite-day sky turning not-quite-night
Honest and real conversations
Tree climbing
Balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Zero cell phone service
Winding tree lined roads
Skin hitting clean and fresh sheets before bed
Only hearing nature
Waves crashing the shore
Big Sur Bakery
Almond Croissants from Big Sur Bakery
“It is good” – celebrating the good in my life
Afternoon outside naps
Sun shimmering on my skin
Freckles
Saying “good morning” to someone I don’t know
The moments before 8am
Roadtrips
Feeling small
Singing at the top of my lungs
Cheerful babies
Lizards
Multicolored rocks in the water
Waterfalls
Holdes in the rock in the middle of the ocean
Bark and leaves and sticks and dirt
Big Sur 1

Big Sur 3

Big Sur 6

Big Sur 5

Big Sur 7

Big Sur 10

Loved

I’ve shared JJ Heller music here and here and was inspired and touched by her latest single “Loved.” The videography is simply beautiful – and the song lyrics spoke to my heart in a very real and honest way. I hope today you realize just how extremely loved you are. It’s an easy thing to forget; so take five minutes to soak up that goodness and refreshing reminder.

Find more JJ Heller music here. xo

 Do you dream of a home you never had, an innocence that you cannot get back? The pain is real; you cant erase it. Sooner or later you have to face it down. You have to face it down.

You are loved.

Do you keep your thoughts inside your head? Will you regret the things you never said? You have a voice – you have to use it. You have a choice – don’t let them shut you down. Don’t let them shut you down.

You are loved.

Do you feel that ache inside your soul? You’ll know you’ll never make it on your own. Sorrow is too great for you to hold it. You’re gonna break – why don’t you lay it down?

Freedom comes in letting go. Open up the window to your heart. Freedom comes in letting go. Open up your heart.

You are loved.

Decadent Detox with Stiletto and Spice

Decadent Detox

Happy Tuesday!
I recently was introduced to the lovely Claudine who who is the brilliant and beautiful personal chef and caterer at Stiletto and Spice. I’m going to be partnering with her on some social media work – make sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Anyway, I tried out a day of her Decadent Detox last week and was absolutely loved her food! As you may know, I’ve done a few juice cleanses before so I assumed this detox would be similar. Very wrong! I was full the entire day and still felt energized and cleansed. I started the day with a green smoothie {spinach, apple, cucumber, lemon} and chia seed pudding. Let me tell you — this chia seed pudding {chia seeds, vanilla, almonds, cinnamon} was so yummy. I could eat this all day, every day. For lunch, I tried Claudine’s japanese salad with wild rice, edamame and carrot ginger dressing. It was light and fresh, yet filling – I wasn’t hungry for the remainder of the afternoon.

Healthy living – which includes healthy eating – is something that’s very important to me. I also feel strongly that food {like everything else} shouldn’t rule your entire life so it’s important for me to find a balance between eating healthy and letting food control my life or overpower my thoughts. It can be really hard in our busy day-to-day lives to take the time to make healthy choices and Stiletto and Spice is a great place to start if you’re looking for some recipe inspiration or cooking tips.

Interested in healthy cooking and eating tips from Claudine or trying her food out for yourself? Visit here. Also check out the lovely Nichole’s review of the Decadent Detox here!

More exciting food adventures with Claudine to come — stay tuned!
Decadent Detox

Image

Big Sur Beach Day

Happiest of Mondays!
I hope your weekend was a time to rest and rejuvenate – mine definitely was! Mom and I spent a long weekend in Big Sur and I am approaching the new week with perspective and grace. Big Sur was such an inspiring, serene and beautiful place. We spent lots of time exploring and equal amounts of time just sitting – journaling, reflecting, meditating, praying. I loved being able to spend one-on-one time with my mom. She’s a real-life picture of the kind of person I want to be and I’m so thankful I could spend all of last week with her! One of my very favorite moments during our trip was discovering an almost hidden beach tucked away in between the mountains. We spent the afternoon napping on the sand and appreciating the sheer beauty of the Pacific Ocean right in front of us.

I just finished reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist {highly recommend!} and one sweet line from the book stuck out to me as I look back on our afternoon at the beach:

sunburnt and sandy and windblown and happier there and together than anywhere else with anyone else. 

That’s what we were – and I’m so thankful that I was able to spend time with my mom in that very moment. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. More Big Sur pics to come! xo

ps I just bought this retro-inspired swimsuit from Urban Outfitters! Hoping for lots more warm weather so I can actually wear it again.

Beach 2