Red Head

December 9, 2012 § 10 Comments

The only thing holding me back from going red is the upkeep.

I was reminded of this recently when exchanging blog comments with Meghan from Sweat Daily(dot)com. Meghan is a blonde gone red, a runner and a hair stylist, who was kind enough to give me the low down on making the change.

Here was her advice:

“RED is the most high maintenance of all the colors. The reason why is because the red color molecule is soooo large that it has a difficult time getting into the hair shaft. And because of this, it fades very easily. Fading is thought to be a negative aspect, but it can actually be quite positive. Because the hair fades, you have opportunity to try whatever color you desire, and can easily switch it up. For example, you can start out with a more vibrant red that may fade to a ginger or strawberry color.”

Yesterday, as I cruised the Interwebz while simultaneously re-watching every episode of Girls (and the Boardwalk Empire finale thrown in for good measure), I came across an image of two of the most divine redheads on Earth.

It’s enough to make me reconsider the color.

I’ve written before about my love for Christina Hendricks, but Vivienne Westwood (for the non-fashiony-fans) is a legend; a visionary and icon in the industry. My respect for this woman runs deep.

This photo …

I’m calling my hair girl tomorrow.

M.

Ever dyed your hair a radically different color? Did it stick or did you go back au natural?

Incredible redheads Vivienne Westwood and Christina Hendricks, photographed by Greg Williams.

Original Image Source.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed then Maybe You’re Doing it Wrong

December 6, 2012 § 10 Comments

As I sit here waiting for the WordPress fairies to do their magic and transfer my blog to (dot)org (a necessary move to self-hosting), I’m furiously stomping both feet at my social media stagnancy, the result of my inaction; not following my own advice when it comes to finding success.

The truth of the matter is this:

Freelance isn’t flowing, because it hasn’t been the top priority. The blog isn’t growing as much as it should, because I’ve gotten lazy (write, look at numbers, write some more).

There’s a lot on my life’s plate at present, but my priorities are askew. If I don’t change things up I could sit idly by for the next fifty years scratching my head at what could have been.

This is not my style.

More my style is this:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Except if you aren’t succeeding in what you are doing, then maybe you’re doing it all wrong?

In the old days I would have pulled up the boot straps and started to send out resumes. Five per day was the rule, and sure enough my effort would result in the right job at the right time.

The Internet has changed how resume submissions are done, but basically, you’ve still got to get out there in order to be seen.

You’ll never meet Prince Charming if you wait for him to show up at your door.

The Universe in all her wonder has a big part in how our successes play out, too. Timing is the issue of which we have no control. But, change things up, move in a different direction, and eventually Mrs. Universe will bequeath the right opportunity at the exact moment it’s meant to happen.

So, I wait for the fairies to work their magic on the blog transfer, I type to cement the goals, and I dust off my faith that action results in change.

A girl with a plan cannot be thwarted.

M.

What’s your secret to success?

For the life of me I can’t find an image of Lilly Pulitzer’s “Prints Charming” fabric that would have been a swell addition to this post. Her “Frog Prince” will have to do. Speaking of a girl with a plan. How about that Lilly Pulitzer? She started with a lemonade business, but began making dresses in prints to camouflage the spills on her clothes. Surely she realized she was onto something when her creations began to sell more than her lemonade. Now imagine if she’d just sat at her stand all covered in juice?

Comma Too? You?

December 5, 2012 § 10 Comments

Whenever I have a grammar or punctuation question, my first stop in the search is a visit to Grammar Girl.

Her answers always make sense, and when I’m still confused, she responds to messages on Twitter. How I love a true grammarista!

Yesterday I sent a question regarding what seemed to be a new push toward removing the comma from before the word “too”. My writer friends and I have been up in arms over the change.

Her response was that she didn’t get the impression it was a recent thing, but guided me to her post on the subject for some clarification.

Sometimes in grammar and punctuation, issues come up that can be discussed. In professional editing, when questionable changes are made, the best editors are able to justify their choices, making the act of editing much like writing; creative within boundaries of proper form.

It has been much to my dismay, since my continuous testing failures at CloudCrowd, that 3.16 of their style guide says this:

“Do not use comma before the words “too”, “also”, “as well” and any similar terms.”

Such a definitive rule with no grey areas for discussion. No wonder I failed.

Grammar Girl’s post in regard to “comma too” gives a writer the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not the comma should to be used.

Apparently, many children’s book-publishers agree with Grammar Girl and not with CloudCrowd. In four recently published children’s books (checked out this week at our local library), the comma is being used freely in front of “too” restoring my faith in publishers everywhere.

I like commas an awful lot (it borders on an addiction), so I appreciate the freedom to decide if and when they should be used (in this case, specifically).

How about you? You, too?

M.

Are you with Grammar Girl and me, or do you take the side of CloudCrowd?

An example of the comma being used in front of the "too". This came fromt eh adorable book Crafty Chloe by

An example of my point from the adorable book Crafty Chloe by Kelli DiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross. Moms … go and find this book. It’s sweet and crafty! We love it!

Intentions, Sophie and the Sea

December 2, 2012 § 11 Comments

It’s common at the start of a yoga class to set an intention for the day’s practice.

Different from a goal, which is something you work toward with a focus for the future, an intention is meant to give you a focus in the present.

Bruce Black, from Writing Yoga with Bruce Black, explained it far better than I ever could …

“… setting your intention is like drawing an arrow from the quiver of your heart.

You aim the arrow at a distant target, a reflection of your heart’s desire, and with care and mindfulness release the bowstring.

And as the arrow flies toward the target, it draws your heart toward its destiny.”

My intention was set; my arrow aimed at first-born (Sophie) who becomes troubled when I leave for my Friday night trips away (an unhappy agreement made during mediation to give her father more time to parent without my ever-presence).

She cries as I leave, and as I jump into my car and drive away, I can’t help but wonder for how long she feels the pain of my departure.

There is nothing I can do to ease her pain when I’m gone.

At the end of yesterday’s class, prior to a deeply personal moving meditation and an awfully good time spent upside down in playful inversions, the class returned to our backs for quiet savasana.

As proof that I’d set the right intention, the prettiest song came through the speakers above my head; a version of Sea of Love I hadn’t ever heard.

For Sophie I’d set my intention. Now and forever, Cat Power’s Sea of Love will be our song.

M.

Do you set intentions off of the mat? Does a particular song remind you of someone you love?

Healthy Eating and the Gingerbread Jerks

November 30, 2012 § 5 Comments

It wasn’t the realization of the added ten pounds on the doctor’s scale (at which I cried) or the 2 minute per mile slower running time; not the puffy face in recent photos nor the general feeling of blah. There’s no reason for jump starting the healthy eating plan (again) other than it is time.

For the past two days I ate things like this:

  • A piece of Millet bread with a quarter of an avocado spread like butter, topped with a scrambled egg (and two egg whites) and a spoonful of fresh salsa.
  • Juice made from carrots, celery, apple, ginger, kale, beets, and huge bunches of spinach.
  • Gwyneth’s Detox Chicken over millet with a side of kale chips.
  • Back to Nature’s Multi-Seed Crackers with half a piece of jalapeno cheese and a slice of uncured honey ham.
  • Apples.
  • More juice.
  • Whole wheat crusted chicken nuggets baked in the oven with green beans and tomatoes on the side.

Two days of healthy eating and a small dose of exercise (a three-mile run yesterday), and one would assume I was completely on track.

But there’s always a hitch when it comes to clean eating, this time it came in the form of tiny white-fudge-frosted gingerbread men (120 calories for three) nestled inside a pretty Christmas colored box.

If it weren’t for those sneaky gingerbread men I would have conquered two full days free from processed sugar.

Except.

Except their pull over me was too strong that I ate three. And then I ate three more. And the 240 calories I ingested happened faster than you can holler, “KALE!”

The good news is that I got a grip on the situation and stopped. I didn’t go back for more. But I thought about it a lot (a lot, a lot), before running far enough from the kitchen that I was no longer tempted.

One day at a time.

One day at a time.

M.

Do you eat clean or do you struggle? What is it that makes you attack the gingerbread men?

Cute little jerks.

Cute little jerks.

So Blogging Sad

November 28, 2012 § 12 Comments

Earlier this evening I read a blog that was sad, sad, (double, triple) sad.

The writer (a working mother with an enviable full-time position) wrote post after post about her broken heart; the boyfriend she loved, the relationship that would never work, her pain, her sadness, the loneliness, the loss.

It got me thinking.

I’m not that sad about the break-up part of my divorce.

Yes, it will be sad to lose my house; for the kids not to have their parents together; for the loss of the potential that was there.

Sad about the break-up I am not.

Maybe it’s because we killed the marriage so thoroughly that the break-up part is a relief.

Maybe having my heart broken (mere minutes after exiting my teenage years) was so painful that I never since put myself in the position to be heart-broken again.

There was so much sad emanating from that grown-up woman’s blog over her grown-up sad, sad break-up.

Am I wrong to find that a little immature? How many times does a person’s heart need to be broken before they stop allowing it to happen? She mentioned she had an ex-husband. Was her heart broken then too?

It’s possible that my own heart was so hardened by the deep pain of young heart-break that I just can’t understand a grown person wallowing in love lost.

M.

What do you think? A Shrink? And for whom …

Pretty heart print by Anna Deegan at Urban Outfitters.

Artwork by Anna Deegan available here.

The Kitchen House – A Good Read

November 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom tells the story of characters living in the 1800s; a time of indentured servitude and slavery; tough subject matter I would have shied away from had it not been for book’s glowing reviews.

Sometimes I choose a book that I’m sure will be a good read, only to close its pages in disappointment when it turns out to be a 100 pager. Other times I choose not to read a book because I’m afraid of the subject matter or because I’m certain it wasn’t written for me (basing a book on its cover is naughty and unwise).

The Kitchen House is turning out to be one that will be added to my list of all-time favorites despite (or maybe because of) it’s tough placement in history. The characters are well-developed. The story is beautifully written (could easily become a costume-rich screen epic). Clearly researched. Written with care and love. It’s tapped into the part of me that yearns for understanding and compassion. 30 chapters in I hope for a happy finish for Lavinia and Belle. I hope that Marshall finds a soul and that Mama lives long.

Yesterday I added myself to the website called GoodReads, which allows me to put its link (along with a picture of my current read) in the widgets on my sidebar.

If you scroll down you can see the box with The Kitchen House proudly displayed.

Click it. Read it. You will not be disappointed.

M.

Are you on GoodReads? Have you read The Kitchen House? 

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