Thoughts on “13 Reasons Why”

Recently, I took about a week to watch the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” and I have to say it was heavy.

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Although the subject matter is not an easy one I was curious to see how this show would portray such a thing.  Especially, since this is a program that is targeted to teens and having someone like Selena Gomez tied to the project as an executive producer makes it more attractive to some.

For those who don’t know, this is a show about the 13 reasons that led a young girl named Hannah to the decision to end her life.  Upon her death she explains these reasons in 13 tapes left to be heard by the people in her life…those that she blamed for her decision.

Now, let me just say there is no reason for anyone to end their life.  There is always another way.  Suicide is such a harsh finality to a temporary pain.  There is always help and people who care.  Always.

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This show was not an easy one to watch but also one that you felt yourself needing to see through.  There has been talk of the producers attempting to glamorize the subject matter, almost making it appear as though her thought process made some sort of sense.  Or that the fact she haunted these people after her death with these tapes made her appear as some sort of celebrity but I have to say that I disagree.  Although, some of the approach they took was mishandled knowing the age group that the show is geared towards.

In my opinion, this show helped to shed a light on the difficulties of adolescence in today’s day and age.  Being a teenager was hard enough when I was younger, I could not imagine growing up among Facebook trolls and social media bullies.  One embarrassing moment or mean comment lives forever nowadays.

This show touches on more than just suicide.  It talks about trying to find out who you are among judgement and pressure.  Self identification, sexual preference, bullying, rape, self-mutilation, depression and what it looks like.  This show really allows a conversation to be had about what it’s like to be a young person today.

These are issues that all young people in all generations are touched by.  But today’s standards amplifies everything so much more with the online lives that young people have grown up knowing.  This makes the emotions from these issues seem so much bigger.

Now, I did not read the book but do know that the makers of the show did take some creative liberties to make this book into a series.  I do feel that there was still a responsibility to tell this story in a way that wasn’t so graphic in showing the finality of this girls life.  The choice to show the act of ending her life in such a precise way was crippling and sad, so much so, I could not watch, I turned my head until it was done.  This I don’t feel was a responsible  creative choice.  It was meant to feel authentic and honest but at the same time showed such a feeling of calm that this may just backfire.

That was my fear after this moment of the series.  Will this make someone who is vulnerable to this idea feel as if this is the way to go.  I certainly hope not.

I do appreciate the portrayal of cause and effect in our treatment of others.  Through Hannah’s tapes you get an idea of how moments, thoughts, acts of kindness and betrayal can all leave marks on us.  This is something I felt is good for young people to see. Allowing people to make better choices by being better to one another.  This, I think is a good message.

All in the same, these tapes seem to signify some blame on those that receive them.  This feels uncomfortable…NO ONE is ever at fault for someone choosing to take their own life. In her choice to leave this remembrance, if you will…it shows the confusion and loneliness that she must have felt and appears to still be working out even until the end.  In all of these reasons she had, there was still a way to fix it.  There was another way and maybe that is what this series was trying to show.  Every reason that she provides is just another doorway to which she should have asked for help.

The guidance counselor provides some discomfort and anger even in her listing of reasons and I hope in no way discourages someone to ask for help from a person in a similar authoritative position.  This is another way the series showed some irresponsibility in potentially scaring off those in need to seek help by making it appear as a worthless attempt.  This is another moment I feared for that vulnerable person watching.

I myself felt lost as a young person.  Not for anything happening at school but for reasons personal to my life.  It brought me to a dark place, a place I contemplated with the notion of taking an easier way.  But of course, I didn’t and realized that things did get easier to deal with.  Although, they may not have changed in the way I may have wished.  I learned how to better work with those emotions that brought me to that dark place.

When we are young, emotions ride high, puberty ensues and we are a chemical mess.  In trying to deal with others, ourselves and the fearful thought of the big future ahead and all that comes with that, it can be a really scary time.  This show felt like it was trying to share in that fear and make it known that it exists.

How young people will take this is unsure….and I am still not quite sure if I had a teenager that I would want them to see this.

As an adult I can relate to what those fears felt like.  They can be scary but it will always get better, there is always another way, there is always someone who cares….always.

This show may have another season.  It is still unknown.  The maker’s seem to want to continue telling these characters stories.  The ending left for more interpretation to be had so we will see what happens.  There may be more to talk about next season.  Maybe a conversation is all you need.

it WILL and CAN get better...

If you ever feel alone or consumed with fear or depression…seek help…it WILL and CAN get better.

 

Take care lovelies,

Christina xx

 

40ish Days Without Social Media

Hello there!

I have returned after a bit of a cleanse from all things social media.  It became apparent that I needed some time for reflection and a vacation from my news feed and in some ways even this blog.

Lately, this cleansing of sorts, seems to be more of a regular requirement in my life. Why?  I’m really not sure.  Maybe the amount of time that is sucked away to the consumption of useless information, or the obscene lists of notifications that flood my inbox, or the choice I make to scroll through the lives of other’s when I could be maximizing my own time. The struggle is real and it is entirely a pathetic one.

So, to feel less pathetic, I stepped away for a bit.  Forty plus days or so, without any interaction on social media (although, I did have to answer a couple of questions on the Book from an inquirer that I did indulge but just once and maybe to check on a particular service I was looking into (reviews people) but that would be the jist of it! 🙂 )

40ish Days

All of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat were avoided.  All of those devoted apps were dissolved from my device and never to be installed again for a month and a half (and some never will be).  If I didn’t remove them from my phone this would not work….I would look just out of habit!

At first, you go through a bit of withdrawal…not kidding.  You feel as if every moment that involves nothing needs something and those are the moments we go to our devices. So, in those moments I had to learn to be okay with having nothing to do or better yet find ways to fill those quiet lulls with constructive activities.

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finished my gallery wall
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keeping a workout program priority…love Fitness Blender

I truly think people just can’t be in their own thoughts anymore.  Boredom ensues fear nowadays.

What is so bad about being in our own heads…our own lives, essentially?  This is what matters, our lives, our thoughts, our goods, our bads, our empty moments, our full ones….

Not the hand-picked reel that others lay out for us to see in their storylines.  Social Media has become such a detached way of communicating for me lately.  Nothing feels organic or sincere.  I miss the days where learning about someone’s life was gained through conversation and one on one connection.

Or maybe, these are things I need to work on in myself.  This disclosure is why I have an incessant need to break away from today’s ever popular ways of connecting and find comfort in the authentic happenings that arise everyday.

I love stepping back from the mindless scroll and actually get some shit done!

And that’s what I have attempted to do….get shit done, think outside of the box, enjoy the quiet moments and savor the time I share with my family.  Without a phone attached to my hand.

It’s really nice.  You should try it!

I actually felt less anxious…believe it or not.  Today’s technology has definitely increased the anxiety people live with.  It’s really in recent years that people complain about having to deal with the annoyance that is anxiety.  In some cases, it can be crippling.

The reality is…everybody. is. anxious.  Who could blame them!

We live on autopilot, constantly moving, taking in way too much information at a supersonic pace.  We can’t just be in the moment anymore.  We are just always waiting for the next thing.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa.png

Well, I don’t want to live like that any longer.  What this whole experiment has taught me is that I want to be in the moment.  Exhaust the beauty in the small things and all the details.  I want to live slower and relish in my relationships with people.

I wish to be more creative and allow boredom to lead me on a path to better ideas.  Being in my own thoughts is okay and one I feel compelled to engage in.

Just this past Monday I returned to Instagram…just a single post of a beautiful rose from a bouquet my husband gave me.  Just to say I had returned.

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Taking a moment to enjoy that flower means something to me.  As it should.

I don’t feel I will be engaging as frequently as I found myself doing a couple of months ago.

And as for what apps I will be re-installing onto my phone…it won’t be all of them…that is for sure.  Instagram (my main chick), Snapchat (my side chick) and Pinterest (my every now again girl 🙂 ) should suffice.  These are my faves at this point and all I really need in this world of connecting.

All other sites will be an occasional visit from my PC when it suits me….or not…

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playdates, my baby finally sitting and trying to crawl and seeing how their bond grows daily…every moment counts…
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the color is here shortly but when it appears it is beautiful…

Take care lovelies!

Christina xx

 

 

 

Have you had a recent detox from Social Media?  If so, I would love to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

 

EX Item of the Week

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Hey you!

Whenever I try a new product that I just love I want to share it.  So, to do that I will be featuring an EX Item of the Week from Endless Xpressions.

I don’t love everything but the things that I do I have to talk about because who doesn’t love a good product?!

Today is all about the Charcoal Cream Masque!  In the past, I have tried tons of hydrating, toning and firming masks but activated charcoal has become increasingly more popular for its natural benefits.  It is used to trap toxins and the all around yucky stuff from your pores, leaving your skin feeling clean and renewed.

There are the thick charcoal masks that rinse off and there are the peel off masks that can sometimes hurt your skin more than help it.

This particular mask is completely light weight.  It goes on like a cream and just sits on your face until dry, roughly 8-10 minutes and then just removed with warm water.  So easy…and a huge reason why I was attracted to it.

I am pretty low maintenance in the grand scheme of all things beauty.  I love taking care of my skin but don’t have all the time in the world to do it!  I want something that works and does it quickly.  I have used this mask for a few weeks now (just once a week is needed) and love its simplicity and the ease of its workings.  It keeps skin care simple while providing the benefits of soft and hydrated skin.

This masque is loaded with:

  • clarifying Activated Charcoal
  • extreme hydrators like Hyaluronic Acid, Organic Olive and Jojoba Oils
  • antioxidant rich Organic Rooibos
  • toning DMAE 

This is definitely a new permanent addition to my skin care regime!

 

Stay tuned for more faves!  Also check out lippies and leggings!

Learn more about EX here.

 

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Vegetable Soup

Hey guys!  Friday is here once again and the weather is dropping this weekend in Chicago. So, what better way to warm up than with a nice bowl of soup.  Vegetable soup to be exact.

Now, once a week I make a completely meatless meal.  It gives my family a chance to break from meat, chicken and fish that we regularly eat.  This week was this soup…which became a hodge podge of all the veggies that I wanted to cook up before planning next weeks meals.  I love Vegetable soup for that reason, it’s a great way to use up what you have and therefore, this soup is NEVER the same.  It is always different depending on what I have on hand.

My daughter who is 3 loves anything in soup form.  If it is in a bowl and has a broth she will eat it up.  That’s a sure win for mama and an easy way to get her to eat her veggies. 😉

 

What You Will Need:

Basic Base

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 qts of chicken broth
  • 2 pinches of ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp of dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Veggies I had on hand

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 small white potatoes, chopped
  • 8 oz. of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups of shredded cabbage

 

Directions:

Lightly coat Dutch oven with olive oil and turn on medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and celery and a pinch of salt and pepper, cook until softened.  Add garlic and when fragrant, about 1 minute add the rest of your veggies, thyme, parsley, bay and another pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir.  Pour in your tomato sauce and chicken broth.  Bring pot to a boil.  Cover, lower heat to low and cook for 30 minutes or until veggies have cooked through.

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Serve with your choice of baked bread.

Enjoy!

Note:  This soup can be anything you want it to be.  I have added canned tomatoes, canned beans, corn, green beans, you name it.  Use what you have, the versatility of this soup is endless and like I mentioned a fantastic way to use up the fresh veggies you may have on hand.  Have fun! 🙂

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What Will Inspire You Today?

 

Inspiration; the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

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Inspiration surrounds you…

What will inspire you today?

Your faith?

That kiss left on your forehead before he leaves for work?

The sound of birds chirping in the morning?

That first cup of coffee?

That look your child gives you when they first wake up?

That positive affirmation you take in early on?

The smell of fresh air?

That mind clearing run you squeezed in?

The preparation of that delicious new recipe?

The music you can’t help but turn up?

The beauty that encircles you?

The laughter that echoes throughout your home?

The fabric against your skin?

The people that bring you joy?

The love in your heart?

The life that you live?

What will inspire you today?

Take a look around and find it, see it, accept it…

take it in…

something is always there…

be inspired…

 

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Songs that got me blushin 1

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Hey there!  It’s March and Spring is around the corner!  With that comes new inspiration and for me music is HUGE in relation to that…so I thought I would bring in the new month with some songs that got me blushin at the moment… 😉

 

Gary Clark Jr. – The Healing.  This man is the ish!   This is an amazing artist and I am in love with his style and skill.  This song isn’t new but awesome nonetheless and perfect for my #Marchfeels!  If you can see this man live do yourself a favor and do it!  He opened for a band I went to see a few years back and he may have been more exciting than the main event. 😮

Marion Hill – Down.  This song just got me!  It’s got a funky vibe that I am feeling right now.

Ed Sheeran – Shape of You.  I have liked this guy from the beginning.  I think he’s a good songwriter and I can pretty much get on board with most of what he does.  Plus, this makes me want to dance a bit and I am always down for that!

Adele – Water Under the Bridge.  I mean it’s Adele…but I love this song and everything she does I find relatable and her voice is beautiful.

Jon Bellion – All Time Low.  This has a cool vibe.

James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go.  I just came across this song recently.  I am not too familiar with this artist but this song is just so pretty.  It touches me and I am for sure blushin over it.

Hope you all like!  Find yourself some inspiration this month…happy March!

Cheers!

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Mini Haul Reveal

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised that my latest package from Endless Xpressions came in the mail.  Who doesn’t love receiving a box to open at your front door.  Even if I know what’s in it, it always puts a smile on my face! 🙂

This current haul is a small one, as I wanted so desperately to try some new items.  In January, EX merged with their sister company Hodge Podge and with that merge came so much more fun inventory to share!

I have to try everything so I can share with you guys my perspective and opinion of how things work!

Plus new goodies make me happy!  So, here we go!

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Handmade Soaps

64 different kinds (under Bath & Body > Soaps)

 

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$5.95 USD

Eucalyptus, Hemp & Tea Tree Soap.  There has been an abundance of sickies in my house, stuffy noses and congestion, so this was a MUST try.  This can create a slight vapor in the shower or bath to help with a cold or allergies.

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$5.95 USD

Chamomile Face Soap.  It’s made with 65% olive oil so I had to try it!  Olive oil is awesome for the skin and I have been known in the past to lather myself with it after having  a shower.  A little goes a long way and because my skin is pretty dry it helped to seal in some moisture.  I prefer using this oil compared to a coconut oil when it comes to my skin in particular.  So, super excited to try this soap!

Cosmetics

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$15.95 USD

5-Color Eye Shadow Palette in Mild Trance.  I am so excited to try this.  I love shadows and for everyday prefer a natural palette and this is perfect in regard to the tones I like.  The case is basic black and has a nice weight to it along with a mirror on the inside which makes it great for on the go.  Can’t wait to see what looks I can do with this one.

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$17.95 USD

One of our NEW best sellers, the Ultra Lash Fiber Mascara!  This is a ONE Step Fiber Mascara and I can’t wait to try it.  I have had a particular 2-step mascara (from a company that shall remain nameless) forever! I would put it on and an hour or two into wearing it all the little fibers were all over my cheeks and falling into my eyes, it was so annoying.  So, I never used it…it just sits in my cosmetic case for nothing.  But this should minimize the work it takes to create the look of fiber lashes by incorporating them into the formula! Super excited and I will be sure to share what I think!

Handmade/Hand Cut Bath Bombs

80 different kinds (under Bath & Body > Bath Bombs)
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 $5.00 USD

Our Bath Bombs!!!  These were from an order I got a week ago but thought I would share.  I have tried these and love them already.  So, had to get more!  They are sooo fragrant and make my skin feel so soft and silky.  The scent always lasts a long time on the skin which is nice too.  Glad to add more to my collection! 🙂

That’s it!  All of what was in my Mini-Haul!  I will be trying my goodies today and create some future posts to share with all of you.

Have a lovely day! ❤ ❤

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Coupon Code

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Need a gift?  

Want some leggings?

Love vintage style?

Looking for cruelty free makeup?

Or a fan of handmade soaps or goodies?

Well then, we have something for you!  

SHOP today and save 10% on your FIRST purchase!

 

SEE WHAT’S NEW!!!

 

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Shop Here! Expires March 31, 2017

 

Learn more about Endless Xpressions.

Join my Facebook group for updates, deals and promos.

Cheers!

 

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Going From A Mom of 1 to 2 in 10 Words

It has been almost 6 months now since I have become a mother of two.  Now, with a toddler and an infant, life has changed a tad more (to say the least). Everyday is different and still continues to be an adjustment and an adventure all in the same.  20160807_174124

Before my son came I was worried that my daughter would feel jealousy or it would change our bond.  I just didn’t want her to feel bad or that she was lacking time with me.  You know all the fears moms go through when they have a second baby.  That first-born is the epitome of firsts…all those little moments you share with your first born are such an awakening of new discoveries and maybe I thought for a second that I wouldn’t share that same affection for the ‘firsts’ with my second child.

Having two little ones, however, is more wonderful that I could have imagined.  My daughter took to her brother immediately and always offers help with him.  She has made the transition that much easier, which is a blessing.

So I wanted to share some of the emotions I have personally experienced during this transition and those that I have felt on this continued journey…

In 10 words this describes my emotions in becoming a mom of two…

  1. scared – if I can handle this
  2. nervous – that the adjustment would be too great
  3. tearful – emotions run high when a new baby arrives
  4. blessed – to have just not 1, but 2 amazing little humans in my life
  5. exhausted – a toddler and infant will suck the energy from you but it’s okay
  6. busy – the days fly with 2 littles, always something happening
  7. excited – everyday is different…it makes you enthusiastic for whats to come
  8. uncertain – some days you wonder what the heck you are doing and question yourself
  9. anxious – anxiety can come with parenting as most of us know, worry is part of the deal
  10. happy – the biggest part of it is the happiness I feel, the smile they put on my face is everything, nothing like it 

Being a mom is not always easy.  Most of the time it is extremely hard and exhausting.  But this kind of work is the most rewarding.  You see the fruits of your labor on a daily basis in the little changes that kids go through.  Watching them become what it is that they are meant to be…it is a pretty sweet deal.  Having two kids is just as amazing as having one…adjustments aside…worth every bit!

 

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A Threenager’s Triggers

As I was attempting to get my daughter down to sleep last night, she became dissatisfied with my inability to sing the Sophia the First Finger Song correctly.  Mind you, I didn’t even know there was such a thing.  So in my persistence to get the words to her liking, I witnessed a meltdown forming in slow motion before my eyes.  The incredible anguish in her face was the equivalent of a teenager being told that she couldn’t go to her best friends house on Saturday and ‘will miss everything‘ sort of face.  We went from completely playful and happy to a screaming fit of dissatisfaction.

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Oh, the emotions of a three-year old.  I truly feel as if I missed a whole section of her childhood and am already dealing with a hormonal, moody, ungrateful teenager.  I can only imagine what the real thing will be like…

But in any regard it is a true fascination of the things that can throw your toddler off the handle.  I mean, it is remarkable that the wrong color of a Popsicle can create a lip quiver.  The real and true way to play Candy Land can send her off running up the stairs in a screaming fit.  The incorrect saying of her dolly’s name can impose a minor anxiety attack.  The idea that she can’t hug and kiss her brother when he’s fast asleep can require alone time to calm the nerves raising within her.  Or, when I happen to pour some water in the wrong sippee cup; the need for her to kneel down and stomp her fists on the chair in despair is a sight to be seen….truly.

Really, though, how can I be so silly to assume that water tastes the same in every cup…’Christina, that’s crazy talk!‘ (I tell myself)

I just need to get it together.  HELLO, green is always better than red.  Minnie Mouse cups trump plain old colors…ANY DAY!  The way you cut your avocado DOES matter and the 45th time of seeing the same movie is ALWAYS the best screening.  Because now, those songs are not only embedded into your brain they have now become a part of you in some strange emotional way…

The threenager is such an amazing creature.  In all her curiosity, and meticulous, and methodical way of thinking.  She really is something of interest.  The ability to go from 0 to 100 in 0.3 seconds is a remarkable site.  She blows my mind daily.  She is like the best of modern-day magicians in making you believe in something other than what is real.

Because let’s face it, I am no longer in my own world.  I now live in hers.

And you know what, that’s okay…

For the most part! 🙂

 

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