What Smells So Good

A delightful little child named Vivian came by one day last spring, peddling magazine subscriptions for a fundraiser at her school. I can’t tell Vivian no. She’s sassy and persistent, just the kind of girl I like to be around.

This purchase has landed me in the middle of what has turned into a magazine mountain. I ordered subscriptions to all of my favorites: the big, glossy Vogue with its labels and designers, the intuitive and gossipy Elle with its fabulous book reviews, the star-studded Vanity Fair with the latest celebrity gossip and album release insights, and finally, the controversial Rolling Stone, for the times when I want to get my Republican blood pressure way up. Four magazines…who has time to read these? Read more

Your Gut

PC: Instagram @linzzybee

Ohhhh yeah. I dated a Jealous Boy…a long, long time ago. He would crane his head out of the window of his pickup truck and analyze the tire tracks in my driveway to see who had been coming to and leaving from my house. I loved the way he wanted me all for himself but that possession was too much, he had insecurities that had nothing to do with me and his tenacity towards others who also wanted to spend time with me often grew scary. My gut told me to get out. As a result, that relationship was ultimately doomed and thankfully, it finally came to an end. Read more

Dog Tired: The Ugly Truth About Weight Loss in My Forties

PC: Instagram @sir_russell_the_frenchie

This blogpost is almost 5,300 words long so it may have to be read in segments. That’s okay, because it was crafted in segments. A little over ten weeks ago I set out on a disciplined journey to lose 20 pounds over the two-month summer break I have off from teaching school. I did everything mostly the way you’re supposed to and miraculously, I finished all the way to the end.

This story will not contain methods that everyone, or anyone, would recommend. The purpose of documenting my thoughts as I went through this was to do all the hard work for you, in the event that your weight is something you also constantly obsess about, like I do. Secondly, I need my journals to remind me that I really did try my very best. Read more

The Warpath

PC: Instagram @deebryl

I finished a good book today, one that I’ve been reading for a few weeks now. I will not insert its storyline here because I don’t want this blogpost turning into a book review. But let me assure you, I slammed the stupid thing shut when I finished it, tossed it dismissively onto the floor in disgust and haven’t been able to shake its frayed ending out of my mind since. Read more

Sojourner

Judge Melvin posing with her motorcycle. PC: lauramelvin.com

We are both divorced mothers of a single, beloved son and I think we both would admit that while not many things can make us come undone with pride and love, our all-grown-up baby boys certainly rank at the tip-top.

We are both at the stage in our lives where the ‘hard stuff’ is mostly behind us, and we are both searching for our new place in the world. We’ve both seen that, yes, it’s scary out there when you’re by yourself, but it’s also pretty exciting.

We are both too independent for the traditional expectations of who and what we are supposed to be anymore, and many people don’t know and will never know who we really are on the inside. Sojourners (people who don’t like to stay in one place for too long) are like that. Read more

The Uncomplicated Man

James Dean

There’s nothing more satisfying than a revelation. You know…an aha! moment. When those light bulbs turn on in our heads like one did for me recently, a girl’s gotta share.

Men. I won’t argue with anyone that men aren’t difficult. They certainly can be, they definitely are sometimes. I’ve known a few like this in my life for sure, but one thing they are not is complicated. Read more

Ladyboss

PC: Instagram @tapeatale

I think we can all blame Disney for our hang-ups about our hair. Since our wee years, we are taught that all of the beautiful princesses have long, voluminous tresses. Cascading hair is mythically, historically, and symbolically associated with youth and fertility. Look up any society in history and you’ll see… the themes are the same. Even in Native American societies, warriors wanted the horses with the longest, thickest manes to ride into battle because they looked more menacing and majestic, more desirable. (How impressive it must have been to see a battle horse in the throes of war, or in the heat of a hunt, its long hair flowing out behind it.) Read more

I’m Sorry, Mr. Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

A couple of years ago, I set a goal for myself to start reading the American classics. It made me feel smarter to think I might one day know how to namedrop all of our most famous literary icons with real authority. I wanted to know all about the ones about whom my friends say, “Oh my God! He’s my favorite author!”

I especially wanted to fall in love with Ernest Hemingway. I’d saved myself for him, for after I finished writing my own book and was no longer in the middle of any other novels. I wanted to give him my undivided attention because everything I’d read about him pointed towards adoration. I anticipated a long, sexy summer reading about falling in love during the Spanish American War, bullfights in Spain and cafes in Paris, and salty men repairing fishing nets…all being ideas that made me swoon in romantic anticipation. I bought six of his most famous works and downloaded them all at once. Satisfaction was 100% guaranteed. A perfect collection of beach books, right? I nestled in. Read more

Ideal

PC: Instagram @monikaklicks

#relationshipgoals  When you see a sultry black and white picture of a gorgeous young couple tied up together like snakes under blankets on the couch watching Netflix.

#bestfriendgoals  And you wonder who you would invite to go hiking through Europe with you, if  you and a best friend could actually take a trip like that.

#lifegoals But then you come back down to earth because you know you probably won’t ever really own a home off the coast of Greece, overflowing with a garage full of race cars.

#fitnessgoals Because let’s face it, this is real life and we are all just regular, normal, average people who don’t spend hours and hours of each day staying in shape, looking perfect and making millions of dollars.

What is ideal? and What is unrealistic?  These are questions everyone asks themselves quietly, like I do, as I try to set goals for myself while at the same time being honest about who I am as a person and where I am in my life. They’re questions that trick me sometimes because (1) I’m an eternal optimist and (2) I don’t like to think of my behaviors, my habits, my future and my body as things that I can no longer control. Read more

Buy the Shoes

The biggest bang for your buck comes from my favorite designer Vince Camuto. All the timeless style you want at half the price, and worth every penny. Instagram @vincecamuto

The chime of the doorbell this afternoon signaled the arrival of a special purple box. I raced to my front door and there on the porch was the brown delivery package that contained my new Stuart Weitzman Nouveau black patent leather pumps. Stuart Weitzman shoes always come in purple boxes, did you know that? No one in my house gets my enthusiasm when I wake up and scream, ”Maybe it’s purple box day!!!!!!” but please believe me, it’s a big day. Most men don’t understand ‘Shoespeak‘ just like I don’t understand ‘Boatspeak’ or ‘Huntingspeak,’ and most couldn’t tell the difference between a slingback and a wedge if their life depended on it and furthermore, they don’t care. So I looked around for someone to squeal with me. I needed a woman to share my big day with but only the Labrador was here. Read more