Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Letters To My Future Husband: Letter #143.

Dear Mr. Melissa Blake:
Letting go. Letting go. Letting go. It's been something that has been slowly creeping into my head. What started as a teeny tiny thought has grown, well, a bit bigger. And apparently, it wants my attention because it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. I suppose I should take that as a sign, right? I suppose I should face it, right, Sweetpea?

So what is this big, bad monster that has my knees shaking? An anniversary. It was right around this time last year that I and everything in my world was sidelined by major depression. It's weird, but even now, it feels like it was just yesterday. And as hard as it is to remember virtually anything from this time, I don't think I'll ever be able to forget how it all left me feeling. Fearful. Confused. Overwhelmed. Confused. Anxious. Perplexed. Confused. So many emotions were flying around me (it seemed like every emotion except happiness), emotions that felt so foreign to me like Californians trying to enjoy a frigid winter in Minnesota.
So I worry at night sometimes. I worry I'll go back to that place someday. I worry that the evil depression will slither its way back into my life somehow.

The fact is, I'm scared to face it. This whole anniversary thing. I'm honestly scared to look it square in the eyes, face it down and try to convince it that it has no power over me when both of us know very well that it could probably reduce me to a blubbering cream puff if it wanted to. Because in reality, that's exactly what it's trying to do. It's goal is to keep me afraid, to keep me running far, far away. If I don't think about it, maybe the anniversary will just pass and float off into oblivion. But then on quiet night, like last night, for example, when it was so quiet in my house that I could hear the sound of a pin drop, I know deep down that I have to at least acknowledge it in some way. If nothing else than to make some sort of peace with it. Because only then will I be able to move forward, you know, Sweetpea?
So here I am, Depression (yes, depression with a capital "D"), letting you know that I've gone an entire year without you in my life, and I've realized something pretty amazing: I don't need you. Nope. Not one single bit. You've never helped me, you're never going to be able to help me and my life is so much better without you. What do you think, Sweetpea? Do I feel the same about depression wherever we are? Until we meet... xoxo

[Photos via Pennyweight and Le Love]

Holiday Gift Guide 2011 Part #3: Your sister bear who is a complete bookworm, takes early-morning jogs and absolutely loves tea and coffee.

Sam The Duck because, well, just because he's cute...just like your little sister, $32.
A set of 6 "Me & You" engraved pencils because you two go together like salt and paper, like eggs and bacon and like milk and cookies, $12.
A Chemex coffee maker ($58) and a porcelain teapot ($48) to take her brewing skills to a new level.
A throw blanket because she's always cold and loves to curl up on the couch and read, $88.
A box of healing words magnets to cheer her up when she's having a rough day, $13.95.
Farmaesthetics winter soap trio because she has the longest getting-ready-for-bed routine you've ever seen, $34.
Forget-me-knot rings -- one for you and one for her -- so you two can always be connected, $48.
A wooden animal play set for her window sill to remind her of the hours she spent playing with plastic animal toys as a child, $20.
Warm mittens for those early-morning runs, $38 (another cute set here).
Sisters print because, well, no matter how old she is, she'll always be your little sister, $26.

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Start me up...once you start me up I'll never stop." --The Rolling Stones

[Photos via My Summer Twist]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MEMO TO MEN: Assertive women rock!

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: The art of assertiveness
DATE: November 29, 2011
A male Facebook friend posted this status update yesterday: Guys like girls who are assertive.

I sat there for a moment, wondering if this was some sort of trippy, psychedelic, Age-of-Aquarius dream, because honestly, boys, I was a bit worried that this was too good to be true.
And then I realized: It was true! Said male also went on to say that it's actually a turn-off when a woman lacks assertiveness. You have no idea how utterly happy this made me, boys. For so long, women have fallen into believing the evil stereotype that they'll get a "reputation" if they're labeled assertive. A woman can be assertive in every other aspect of her life, but when it comes to love? Well, she must always be the utmost damsel in distress, letting men do all the courting. Now, I'll admit that I may be shy (OK, extremely shy...) when it comes to love, but I sometimes wonder how much of that is my actual personality and how much of it comes from societal influences. Maybe I thought my disability would be enough of an obstacle in the dating world, and to add an assertiveness personality to the mix would just complicate things even further. So maybe I held back, boys. Perhaps I held back a bit too long. After all, I'm slowly starting to realize that I sort of have quite a few years to catch up on. Maybe adding another dash of assertiveness into my bag of tricks wouldn't be such a bad idea. What do you think, boys?

But I do wonder: How assertive is too assertive? I still fear the stigma of the Eager Beaver Syndrome -- and yes, I think I've coined that term myself. Does that even exist anymore? Are there certain things you'd prefer women to be the assertive ones in?
In the end, I suppose I should just remind you again, for reinforcement purposes: Assertive women are not creatures to be feared. We're not going to pounce on you like wild lions and tigers and bears (Oh my!) in the jungle. We're more civilized than that; well, I am, at least. Sometimes, we just know exactly what (or who...) we want, and our natural inclination is to go after it. If we're being honest here, wouldn't you do the same thing? You are the ones to do the chasing most of the time, so why not let us take the lead? I do give you one warning, though: I'm pretty adorable when I'm at my most persistent, so I doubt you'll ever be able to put up much of a fight. Are you ready, boys... xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

Holiday Gift Guide 2011 Part #2: Your papa bear who loves pop culture, tells corny jokes and is still the smartest man in the world.

A pocket tissue holder because, whether he admits it or not, he's really just one giant softy at heart. Warning: He'll probably tell you he uses it as an iPhone holder, $13.
The complete Jurassic Park Trilogy because he took you to see the movie three times while it was in the theater, $54.99.
A subscription to the Bacon of the Month Club because, well, bacon makes everything better, $145.95.
This wave & sun T-shirt because it reminds him of the Beach Boys, his all-time favorite group, $28.
The Meatball Cookbook because he loooves meat, remember? $16.29.
A Periodic Table shower curtain (just like in The Big Bang Theory!) because without him, you never would have survived (and passed!) high school chemistry, $29.99.
A chalkboard mug to leave him corny jokes, $10.
An animal print that he can hang above his desk and look at on those long days when he'd rather be outside than stuck at the office, $20.
A scratch map ($24) and a travel stub diary ($14.95) to record all his retirement adventures.
...and a soup and sandwich ceramic tray duo for when he comes home, $30.

Question of the Week: Question #3

Good morning! Have a question? I'd love to hear them, so feel free to email me (mellow1422 [at] aol), friends! Today's question comes to us from April. She asks...

If you weren't a writer, what other career would you chose?
Ahhh, I can't be a writer? That would be sort of like cutting off my oxygen supply -- or my root beer supply. But, if I had to choose another career, I've always thought a field in medicine would suit me well. Growing up surrounded by doctors and hospitals, I went to an unofficial form of medical school. I could definitely see myself working with other families and helping them just like doctors and other medical staff helped my family.

Now, this second career dream may seem a bit odd, but it's always been a fantasy of mine: A secretary. A few years ago, I did some temp work at the local university, and loooved it. Organizing. Sorting. Answering phones. Responding to emails. I rocked it all. The photo above? Yup, that's me rocking my days of being a star secretary! :)

What about you, friends? Do you ever dream of a different career? Why did you choose the career you're in now? I'd love to hear! xoxo

P.S. The INPINK giveaway has been extended for one more week! Don't forget to enter if you haven't. Click here to enter!

P.P.S. Part #2 of the Holiday Gift Guide and a MEMO TO MEN is coming your way! :)

Found: The best wedding shoes ever

How adorable are Nicole's wedding shoes? One pair for before the ceremony...
..and another pair for after the ceremony. Genius! xoxo

[Photos by W. Scott Chester, via Green Wedding Shoes]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love Lounge: Is monogamy negotiable?

Women's Heath magazine recently asked this question on its Web site: Is monogamy negotiable?

Honestly, monogamy and negotiable don't even belong in the same sentence. They're like magnets that repel each other. There are certain things in life that lend themselves easily to negotiation. Shopping at flea markets. Buying a car. Choosing a restaurant for dinner. Making plans for the weekend. Those things are negotiable.

Love is most definitely not one of those things. Because love isn't something you can negotiate. You can't turn it off and on whenever you please like a light switch, your feelings magically disappearing and reappearing at regularly timed intervals.
Besides, if you're allowing room for negotiation in relationships, isn't that really just the same thing as a no-string-attached love affair? We all know how well those turn out (cue sarcasm....). Someone always ends up getting emotionally attached (that would probably be me). Someone always ends up falling for the other (that would most likely be me). And someone always has trouble admitting their feelings to the other person (that would most definitely be me).

You can't choose to be monogamous when it suits you. It's one of those refreshingly black-and-white things: Either you commit to another person or you don't. It's as easy as that. In love - and in life - you should never stand for anything less than you deserve. Do you really think you deserve to be someone's sloppy seconds?
What about you, friends? Is monogamy something you'd ever negotiate? How do you feel about couples who do? How would you define negotiate? What does it mean to you? Let's chat! xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]

Holiday Gift Guide 2011 Part #1: Your mama bear who gives the best hugs and whose homemade cookies make everything better.

A soft and cuddly holiday bear, complete with a red scarf, and 3 bags of personalized M&Ms so she can read little messages from you into the New Year, $49.99.
A colorful handbag to match her equally colorful personality, $60.
Wall art to say thank you for all those encouraging smiles she gave you over the years, $18.
This Initial Me Silver Bunny to keep her loved ones close to her heart, $24.
A photo notepad full of fun family memories, $12.99.
Michael Buble's new holiday album because, well, she listens to holiday music all year, $10.99.
A comfy pillow to remind her to take time for herself, $40.
An Everlasting Meal because she's always wanted to take up cooking (and wants to do it economically!!), $14.88.
Stripped snowflake socks she can wear while listening to her holiday tunes, $18.
The photography book Wise Women because she's, well, the wisest woman you know, $19.

Sneak Peek: Holiday Gift Guide 2011

So here we are, friends! Can you tell how utterly excited I am about So About What I Said's first-ever Holiday Gift Guide? I'll be posting a new guide each day this week as well as a couple days next week, and each round-up will be filled with affordable, creative and fun ideas for everyone from your mom to your tiny little cousin. There are so many cool things out there, and I hope you'll enjoy my picks.
Look for the first guide (for mamas!) this afternoon, but in the meantime, I'd love to know, friends: What's your holiday-shopping strategy? Who's the hardest person to shop for? Who's on your list this year? Do you do most of your shopping online now, or do you still brave the mall -- I honestly don't remember the last time I went to the mall. Yikes!

And speaking of shopping, Happy Cyber Monday. Here are 5 ways to save...
*Macy's is offering free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Enter promo code CYBER.
*Wal-Mart is offering free shipping all week if you spend $45 or more on items marked HOMEFREE.
*American Eagle Outfitters is offering 25% off your order and free shipping -- TODAY ONLY! Just enter promo code 49827101 at checkout.
*J.Crew is offering 25% off your order and free shipping -- TODAY ONLY! Just enter promo code SURPRISE.
*Target is offering free shipping for 7 days if you spend $50 or more.

And here are 5 Etsy shops offering awesome deals...
*Laura is offering 10% off her lovely prints. Just use promo code CYBER10 at checkout.
*Barberry & Lace is offering 30% off -- TODAY ONLY! Just enter coupon code CYBER302011.
*Upper Metal Class is offering 20% off orders -- TODAY ONLY! Just enter promo code UMC20.
*Much Love Illy is offering 25% off your order. Just enter promo code CYBERMONDAY.
*June Designs is offering 20% off your order. Just enter promo code CYBERMONDAY2011.

P.S. If you're in a browsing mood, check out my previous shopping finds.

[Photos via Pinterest]
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin