I was enamored with this necklace the moment I saw it at LeThrift the boutique I work at. This necklace resembles an American flag and it’s in the shape of a gun. What represents Americana more than that? It’s a culmination of our over inflated pride of the U.S. and our violent history. It is the perfect necklace to wear along with a smirk on the 4th of July.
Americans love their guns. I love Michael Moore.
I have a confession to make…I don’t own any tennis shoes. Not a single pair. So how did I find myself at Self’s Workout in the Park? I volunteered to go and write about it. I was swayed by the thought of exercising outdoors downtown surrounded by Chicago’s beautiful skyscrapers. So, I headed to the event in cut off jean shorts, a casual shirt, and flats. I was going to document other people working out, be an observer of this phenomenon of working out. I could immediately identify who was also going to event as soon as I got off the train. These women were decked out in their lycra and sports bras and power walking as though they were on a mission. They were ready to work out and I was ready to photograph them.
It’s not as if I’m opposed to working out. It just comes in phases or cycles for me. The last time I owned a pair of tennis shoes was in 2009 when I was a coach for Girls on the Run. Twice a week I would meet up with my group of girls at their school and try to get them to run, to move. It was a challenge and I’m worried for kids. Before that college was the prime of my gym time. When a gym membership is included with your tuition and it’s within walking distance it seems more reasonable to go work out. When you live in Chicago and the nearest gym within walking distance is a mile and you have to pay for the gym membership it’s not exactly convenient to go work out.
Instead I just make physical activity part of my routine. I walk to the grocery store and ride my bike as much as I can. I don’t think women should feel pressured to work out so they can achieve a certain look. Working out should be about moving your body for health, because it’s not healthy to be too sedentary. The women at Self’s Workout were there because they wanted to be. They were super excited to be working out. Everything was fun and upbeat. The Laughing Cow and I started a friendship.
Ladies could indulge in facials.
I signed up for a facial dermascan so I could see how much the sun has damaged my skin.
The left side shows blood vessels and growths. The right side show all the sun spots that could pop up. I was advised to protect my eyelids and lips more. I do generally avoid putting sunblock on my eyelids because if I sweat, which I do cause I bike, it burns my eyes.
And I found the lone male that was working out at the park with the ladies.
Maybe next year I’ll own a pair of sneakers and attempt to work out.
This is the 19th year SELF magazine has been putting on their workout in the park. It is suppose to be a fun filled day of building community with other ladies. A ton of activities will be on hand such as the newest workouts. Ahh, that’s the key word in this activity WORKOUT. I’m not exactly a consistent workout person. I don’t have a daily fitness routine. My workout is made up of walking or riding my bike. I’ve always wanted to find an enjoyable fitness class that I would be able to attend consistently. A class where I could make new friends and look forward to going to. A workout that would help to feel good mentally and physically. I’m sure it exists maybe I’ll find it at the workout in the park.
I’m not a person that likes fast exercise so cardio is out for me. I once attended a ballet boot camp class and almost died. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but that is how I felt during that class. It was the arm and ab exercises that really killed me. I was just not capable of doing half of them so I would just take a break when I needed to. I think that it’s really important to listen to your body and stop when it tells you to instead of feeling pressure to continue because other people may be watching you.
The classes I will definitely not be taking part in at this event are the Rock Bottom, Ab Attack, and Tabura. What is Tabura? The description actually completely terrifies me and assures that it is an exercise I will never take part in. “Inspired by Swahili military endurance and strength training, this class uses kickboxing combos and basic West African dance moves.” Excuse me, but no even though I am curious about the dancing part. I think I will make sure to be an observer, but gladly not a particpator in Tabura.
Dance to me is the perfect workout though! There will be plenty of dancing going on at the park. I want to check out Fly Girls inspired by those girls from In Living Color, it will be bumping to 90s pop music.
There will also be Masala Bhangra inspired by Bollywood and La Blast created by Louis Van Amstel of “Dancing With The Stars”.
Since a balance is necessary to working out there is the Quiet Zone. These classes focus on yoga and pilates. There will be stretching and sculpting. I will be taking the path of least resistance and that means more relaxing and stretching for me. I plan on taking part in Sunrise Salutations since I want to maintain flexibility and increase my strength. Hippie Yoga will be going on, but not that kind of hippie yoga. This is yoga designed to open up your hip area.
What I’m most looking forward to is the pampering and the food samples. Working out is nice and all, but after I like to treat myself. There will be beauty consultations and style workshops. Spa services will be provided-perhaps a mini facial?! And of course there will be give aways and who doesn’t like free things.
If you’re in Chicago this Saturday you should come check it out. It will be held downtown at Grant Park from 11-3. All the details can be found here. What could be more fabulous than working out downtown outside in a park making friends with other fabulous ladies?
Snarky Cards! “Brutally Honest Greeting Cards that will crack you the fuck up”. They are hand painted postcards with typewritten sayings. I discovered these awesome cards about a year ago when I was searching Etsy for feminist art work. I was sending out interviews and sadly did not do one with Alisa the creator of Snarky Cards.
What other company makes an abortion card? She’s on to something. I mean what do you really say to a friend? Why not have a little laugh courtesy of snarky card. After your girlfriend’s abortion and at the after party you can present you friend with this. High fives all around-it’ll be a hit.
There are 22 different mother’s day cards. You’re sure to find the right one for your mom. She’s got one for the crazy mom, the bitchy mom, the overprotective mom, the woman who is like a mom to you, the baby mama, and the deceased mom. And I’m sure I missed a few. Check them out they are delightful.
This is definitely the card I would give my mom. This card speaks the truth. I was a lunatic as a child, wild and stubborn. I’m so grateful for my mother and so sorry about what I put her through. I wonder if she would appreciate this card…
This card cracks me up. It seems so sweet with the rose and then bam.
I would not want to be the mom to get this card.
The name of the card is “I love my Dead Gay Son“-so good, adore Heathers. If you’re a gay who has something they want to get off their chest this card may help you achieve that. Put the blame where it rightly belongs.
A touch of whimsy for the enjoyable and delightful mom.
And as an added bonus she’s got a card for marijuana lovers! This is the best card company ever.
Everyone has secrets. There are things about ourselves that we hide from others because we feel ashamed by them. I use to eat frosting out of the can…all the time. The whole can. Not at once of course.
It started when I was 14. I really wanted something sweet to eat and there was a can of chocolate frosting in the cupboard. It hadn’t been opened yet, so I opened it and got a butter knife to sample the frosting. I determined that this would indeed fix my sweet tooth and took my new found treat back to my room to continue watching tv. About every 5 minutes I would scoop out a little frosting to eat. When I felt satisfied, I put the lid back on the can and put it back in the cupboard. It took about a week for me to finish a can of frosting. I thought it was so good. And then my mom found out I was eating frosting out of the can. She just didn’t approve of me eating just frosting. “Make a cake, make cupcakes and frost them. Don’t eat just frosting”, but she didn’t get it. I didn’t want cake and cupcakes with frosting, I just wanted the frosting.
Now I had to be sneaky about eating frosting. It was a secret to keep from my mom. This is when I started to feel shame about eating frosting, but it certainly didn’t stop me. I just didn’t eat the frosting that was in the cupboard, instead I ate the extra frostings that were kept in the pantry. You would think if my mom really wanted me to stop eating frosting she would have just stopped buying it right?
Eventually I outgrew my fondness for eating frosting out of the can. I still very much enjoy eating frosting, but now I prefer it on cake and cupcakes. I mean, do you know what is in frosting from the can? It’s basically sugar and hydrogenated grossness. I’m too disgusted to eat frosting out of the can now that I know what that stuff is, but it doesn’t stop me from eating it on a cupcake. It’s all mind games I play with myself.
For now I have found a replacement for the frosting.
Nutella! I shamelessly eat this out of the jar. It was my new favorite thing for a while. It is healthier than frosting. It doesn’t have that sickening sweetness that frosting does that stops you from eating too much at once. Oh, wait that actually may be it’s one real drawback- I can eat almost all of it in 1 day. It only lasts one day *tear*.
Nutella is on to the mind games people play, but I’m not that gullible. It’s not that healthy. Do not take advice on back of jar. Unless of course you are on the diet to diabetes.
Do you have any weird eating habits? I sure hope I’m not the only one.
It is not presumptuous of me to declare Sultan’s Market the best falafel in Chicago because IT IS THE BEST FALAFEL in all of the city. Have you had it? I’m sure you would agree. This is my favorite local restaurant for cheap, quick, and healthy food. There are 2 locations, but the Wicker Park locale is near and dear to me. And it’s right off the Damen blue line.
Important thing to know right off, it’s cash only so come prepared. A little bit of money goes a long way here. There’s a large salad bar and it has stuffed grape leaves! What I almost always get though is the falafel sandwich. Spicy, always spicy.
Not only is the sandwich only $3.75, but and this is so important- unlimited refills on tzatziki sauce and sriracha sauce. I love sauces! Ok, that is an understatement. I could almost live off sauces except you know they aren’t actually food. The fact that I don’t have to worry about running out or that they don’t charge extra is glorious. There are lids for the sauces so when you take your order to go make sure to take sauces with you. It’s important to be prepared like a girl scout because you may have sriracha waiting in your fridge at home, but I highly doubt you have tzatziki sauce.
Have I mentioned Sultan’s is BYOB? Or that the baklava is so sweet you’ll get diabetes. On one occasion I had 2 pieces of baklava. Don’t judge…I was super stoned and wanted seconds. A meal is not complete without dessert.
I was recently thinking about what I wanted to write about next. I’ve combined fashion and feminism, but neither with food. I wondered what results I would get upon Googling feminist food. And then a memory popped into my head. The time I microwaved my yoga pants and THEY CAUGHT ON FIRE. Ok, I know you are probably thinking why would you try to microwave yoga pants and what kind of idiot are you?! I’ve never claimed to know my way around a kitchen.
It all started one really cold winter day. In Chicago it’s necessary to wear layers. So, I would often wear leggings or yoga pants under jeans. This day I had spilled water on the only clean pair of yoga pants I had. In effort to dry them so I could wear them, and since I had to leave soon, I decided to pop them in the microwave while I continued to get ready. I was in the bathroom when I heard sparking and sizzling sounds coming from the kitchen. I wandered, not rushed, into the kitchen and saw fire in the microwave. I yanked open the door, pulled out the pants, and stomped out the fire. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation I would recommend throwing water on the fire instead of stomping it. There was no saving the yoga pants. The fire had burned away the butt of them. And the apartment had an awful burnt smell. I left to go to campus and took the pants with me. I didn’t want to keep that smell in the apartment. I threw them away in a trash can as soon as I got outside. Hours later the smell still clung to me. I spent a whole day smelling like burnt toast. This is only one example, there are other fire stories, of why I need supervision in the kitchen.
How can you not love yoga pants? They are more flattering than sweats and super comfy. Can you however wear yoga pants outside of the gym? I think you can and of course other women do. But is there a way to wear them so it doesn’t look like you are going to work out? Definitely. Here are the best examples:
The key to pulling off yoga pants other than as work out gear is balance and proportion. Remember, tight yoga pants are like leggings. Try to keep your camel toe to yourself. That is why tunics or flowy, longer length tops are best. Define whether you are going for a dressy yoga pant look or a casual yoga pant look and accessorize accordingly. I haven’t tried wearing cropped yoga pants with heels yet, but it is on my to do list. I know some people think it’s a definite no to wear your work out clothes for a night out, but rest assure:
I hate artificial scents. They irritate my senses and make me sneeze. They are literally poisoning the air you are breathing. WTF?? Why do that to yourself? I also am not a fan of the smell of marijuana. It’s not one of those scents that makes me go, oooh let me smell some more. On top of that I don’t want to offend my neighbors with the smell of pot smoke. The solution is incense.
I know some people have a prejudice against incense because they associate it with hippies. Get the fuck over it. Incense is the best way to scent your home. It has the most pleasant, lingering scent. Most candles you can’t even smell when they are burning. And incense was around way before hippies.
My favorite is the Magnifiscents line by Shoyeido. It’s all natural without any synthetics. It can be found at Whole Foods stores or if you are in Chicago you should check out Eclecticity. It’s a small local store in Lincoln Square filled with unique items and a friendly store cat. At $3.50 these are a steal! Each stick burns for about 30 minutes and the scent lingers for hours.
Each pack of incense comes with it’s own incense burner so you don’t even have to worry about buying one. So if you thought you had to buy the incense AND the incense burner and that’s what was holding you back from making the switch it’s all taken care of. No more excuses for using those awful artificial sprays with names like summer breeze and escape to the rainforest. Do you really think that what comes out of those cans conveys those scents?! Maybe the scents get you high from the chemicals in them and that’s why you really like them.
Whenever there is a change in seasons it’s always a good idea to do some major cleaning. A much needed cleanse. A rejuvenation. That includes my bowl which is what I use to smoke out of. I don’t have the skills necessary to roll a joint or make a bong. Those are fun, but unnecessary complications that would inhibit my smoking. If you recall my love poem to weed then you should have gleaned that I use marijuana on the daily. For the most part. The exceptions are if I’m traveling or there was some bad planning on my part and I’ve smoked it all and my hook up is m.i.a.. Oh, that is when you will find me close to having a meltdown.
I had done some necessary light cleaning/maintenance for my bowl because it was clogging. I was disgusted by the build up of resin I cleaned out. This is when I determined it was time to for a thorough cleaning. So how does one deep clean a bowl like this? Well, I turn to my trusty rice cooker to handle the dirty work.
All I have to do to clean the bowl is add a little salt and a little rubbing alcohol to the water. Set it on cook and let it “cook” for 30 minutes to an hour.
As you can see, all the resin that came out of the bowl started sticking to the sides of the cooker and turned the water that lovely amber color. Definitely should have cleaned this thing out sooner. Word of caution: a lovely stank aroma of funky marijuana is emanated during the cleaning process.
Are you surprised to find out it’s blue and green and not black?!
The actual bowl part reminds me of grassy fields.
The pipe part reminds me of calming, tranquil blue waters.
Taking a moment to relax and reflect on the beauty of the bowl. Then it’s smoking time.
Today is the annual day of action for the BACK UP YOUR BIRTH CONTROL campaign. This year’s theme is EC=BC. I guess there are people out there who honestly believe that emergency contraception is the abortion pill. I have very little tolerance for stupidity and anyone who believes that is stupid. Why sugarcoat it?
First off, the price of emergency contraception should tip one off to the fact that it is not the abortion pill. There is a HUGE difference between what emergency contraception costs and what the abortion pill costs. I’m talking hundreds of dollars worth of difference.
Second, you can get emergency contraception over the counter if you are 18+. You can’t just walk into a pharmacy or Planned Parenthood for that matter and ask for the abortion pill and be given it. Go ahead and try and let me know how that goes for you.
Thirdly and most importantly, emergency contraception only works if you aren’t already pregnant. It acts like a goalie trying to block the other team from scoring.
Since I worked at Planned Parenthood I was trained in all the facts of emergency contraception, but remember I am not a doctor. I want to stress that emergency contraception is not to be used on a daily basis or even that frequently. It really should be a back up to condoms or other methods of birth control. It is not a magic pill. It is not 100% effective. Women still end up pregnant after taking it. The horror!
There are 3 types of emergency contraception that I am knowledgeable in:
- Next Choice = this is a generic and therefore the most affordable. It is most effective up to 72 hours after, but it’s best to take it ASAP. The effectiveness goes down everyday. It is also comes in 2 pills. I was taught to advise women to not follow the included directions. It’s best to take both pills at the same time so you don’t forget that second pill.
- Plan B One-Step = one pill, easy to take, and effective up to 72 hours after. The effectiveness does decrease daily.
- Ella = everyone needs a prescription for this one! It’s the newest one and therefore the most expensive. However, it’s effective for up to 5 days and it’s effectiveness does not decrease.
My emergency contraception spiel when dispensing it went a little something like this: “Make sure to take it on a full stomach because it could make you nauseous. Your period could come sooner than usual or it may be lighter or heavier than usual. You may have some spotting or bleeding after taking it. If you don’t get a period, take a pregnancy test”.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan. Here is an EC cheat sheet and if you love couponing here is an Ella coupon and a Plan B One-Step coupon. Or head on over to your nearest Planned Parenthood where it’s usually cheaper than any pharmacy!