see me love me don't you leave me

not to self: buy sexy mask, increase hotness exponentially

ok, now...

It's was a good week! I did not disappear into a vacuum this week, I merely neglected the internet. I had family in town, which I love. Sometimes you remember who you are more clearly when the people who know you best are surrounding you. 

In news related to, ahem, Living Thriftily, I dyed my hair out of a box for the VERY FIRST TIME a few days ago! I know I sound like a spoiled brat but I have had my hair professionally cut and colored for over a decade now. I am no longer able to justify this luxury and thus I ended up on the dye aisle in Target. Not only did I stand in that aisle helpless and poor, but traumatized. In 7th grade I did actually buy and use a box of Glints (do you remember that stuff? hair dye that washed out in 14 rinses...) and the results were a socially suicidal and humiliating mutant neon orange tone. My mom, being the kind and compassionate woman she is, made me GO TO SCHOOL ANYWAY and I was mocked with enthusiasm. I vowed never to dye my own hair at the age of 12. So now, 14 years later, I seem to have grown up a bit. With time and faith I finally chose the shade least likely to cause further psychological damage. I took home two boxes (I have a lot of hair) of Revlon Colorsilk in Light Auburn...




Well how painless was that! My husband gave me an extra pair of hands and we both gagged and coughed our way through the saturation process. Only 2 or 3 spots of dye on the carpet later and I can honestly say I am pleased. And as trivial as it sounds, it makes me feel pretty good inside to do it the cheap way. That said when my stylist sees this she is going to go all tasmanian devil on me.

As much as I am in the mood to ignore the clothing aspect of this blog right now, I present you a mother-daughter photo shoot chock full of hangover and completely free of makeup. I was actually quite pleased with myself for being able to roll out of my bed and dress casually with minimal effort. I actually threw something together, completely out of vintage/thrifted items I might add! I am just growing leaps and bounds my friends!

casual? yes. Difficult? no!

where's a belt when you need one? eh?
cotton cardigan-express, thrifted

 I do think this is has been a special week, and as we wait for the official new year to make resolutions it is time to focus on ourselves in the most positive way. The country is attempting to pull it self up again from a brutal and intense battle of leadership. In a way, right now is the new year. At the least this is the beginning of something different and no matter how you felt about the outcome of the election I hope we can all put our hopeful faces on for the future. The best way to face a new day is to wipe your slate clean of yesterdays bulls**t and smile at yourself in the mirror before walkin out the door. 

Now, I have some fantastic thrifted goods to show off, er, share with you this week but first I want to encourage some good old fashioned self esteem to face the new day with! I declare the next 7 days my very own holiday. Sponsored exclusively by Magnolia Family Vintage, The Year of Living Thriftily, and myself, this holiday is a whole week of taking time off from self-criticism, self-doubt, and negative self image. Those are three different things, by the way. I know there are more of these love thyself kind of days out there on the blogosphere calendar but this week is MINE and I need your support! If your daunted by the task of leaving behind such comfortable and easy behaviors then just remind yourself that you can go back to dumping on yourself in a mere week. I won't ask you to take this any further than what I myself can handle. I am practically a professional in the field of low self-esteem. I should be getting paid for the effort and time I put into it. I know it may seem like presenting yourself for anyone to evaluate on the world wide web might require a certain amount of healthy ego...However, I put the cart before the horse with this one. I hope that this exercise in exposure (you know, blogging) will help me overcome some of my pathos in the end. We shall see! This love thyself holiday is a step in the right direction. 

Now in the honor of this holiday I am going to lay out my most articulate and, um, well thought out guide to improving your self esteem instantly! Note that these are QUICK FIXES and not meant to heal your wounded soul. This is just starter material to pick yourself up and lend a little swagger to your step. I am going to practice these strategies when I am tempted to succumb for the next seven days, and you should too. Cause I said so. So here it is, 

Self Esteem NOW! In five easy steps!

1. Find your favorite photo of yourself. 

If you possess the same warped pysche that I do, sometimes dragging out a photo that you love of yourself can actually be depressing. Maybe you don't look like that anymore. Maybe you gained weight (or lost it), maybe you got a bad haircut since that photo was taken, or your skin has since erupted into adult onset acne. You know, hypothetically. Maybe it was taken when you were happier, had more money...maybe your demonic ex is also in the photo making you lose self control and weep uncontrollably. My point is there are a million ways to distract yourself and prevent what should be a wave of positive emotion. But in the spirit of change try and keep your wits about you when you pull out your photo. Remember that THAT IS YOU. You are the pretty, happy person in that picture. It doesn't matter that you don't look the same or you are not at that point in your life anymore. That is still an image of you at your best and as such, you are as awesome as that captured moment. Hard as it is to believe, I am still the proud and beautiful mother of a miracle that I was in that photo up there!! Sometimes I forget in the wake of sleep-deprivation, laundry, and epic toddler temper tantrums. That photo was taken six weeks after the best thing that ever happened (to me) and I couldn't be more thrilled to be that woman up there. No one can take away that moment, it is proof that I am spectacular. I hope my great, great grandchildren find their way to that image.

2.  Watch Rock of Love:Charm School on VH1. 
(Now, this one is a little unorthodox, but stay with me...)

A lot of people would like to believe that "trashy" reality television shows such as VH1's Rock of Love series and its spinoff Rock of Love: Charm School 2 are brain damaging, life eating pariahs. And they are. But what people DON'T realize is that these same shows are a GOLDMINE of self esteem. Look at that photo up there. Don't you ALREADY feel classier, more stylish, and smarter??? I know I do. I have been watching Rock of Love since the beginning and not only has it brought my father and I closer together (we are equally enthralled) but I can't help but look at those women and think "DAYUM. I am a catch." When you get to observe the behavior of women who really do not respect themselves, get dressed in the dark, and resort to liquor tossing at the slightest will hold your head a little higher, trust me. Is it a little mean-spirited?  A little petty? Yes, definitely. Sometimes you have to step on a few cheaply made-up mugs to stand taller. Sometimes, they're getting paid to be your step stool.

3. Have a private photo shoot.

Not a PRIVATE private photo shoot (necessarily) but spend some time and capture your self as pretty as you want to be. Get your sexy on, pull out the fake eyelashes if you want, the mini skirt, the deep V-neck, all the stops. Or don't. Take  photo of yourself looking however you feel best. I recommend blocking out a good chunk of time for this kind of exercise. In can be a little laborious. The benefit of this is that you can get together some photos of yourself that YOU like. Find your favorite angle, the light that makes you look blemish free, the outfit that deceives the lens. You'll be surprised how good it feels to look at photos of yourself that are exactly what you want them to be. I suggest mastering the self-timer on your camera and then trying different spots around your home to take the best photos in. I see photos all the time that my mom took or a friend and while they think it is aaaallll good, all I can see is the weird shape of my knee or the flattened width of my upper arm. I decided recently never to ask anyone to see a photo they took of me. It's theirs, they can do what they want, but I don't need it in my brain eating away at my self-love. Again, this is an exercise designed to increase the dopamine levels in your brain. DELETE the photos that you don't like IMMEDIATELY. You can keep your photos for your own enjoyment or post them all over the internet and wait for the validation to pour in. It's what the internet is for guys.

p.s. If you ARE in a relationship with someone you trust, go for the PRIVATE private photo shoot! DISCLAIMER: I in no way recommend sending naughty photos of yourself to ANYONE less than your very nearest and dearest. Naughty photos + people you know "pretty well" is guaranteed future blackmail. That being said, it will take days to come down from the self esteem high after you surprise your "lovah" with naughty photos on the cell phone.

4. Write down the top five BEST compliments you have ever received.

There is something to be said for the obvious. Seriously, at some point in your life, someone has said something nice to you, about you. To qualify for this list, the compliment you received has to be something you believed. If you have never believed anything good anyone has ever said about you... you might be a sociopath and you need more help than I can give you here.
My best compliments ever range from out of the blue flattery from total strangers to things my husband has told me that will be kept between us. I can tell you that the best compliments are the ones that you honestly don't know how to respond too, because thank you seems trivial. Rack your brain, compile the list, and tape it to your mirror or the inside of your locker (do kids still have lockers?) Keep it around where you can look at it. There is no shame in reliving the best feelings you had in the past. 

5. Fake it. 

Come on guys, just pretend. PRETEND TO HAVE SELF-ESTEEM. You know what happens when you do this? Other people believe that you are as awesome as you are pretending to believe you are and then they want to be juuuuust like you. And that feels damn good, causing self-esteem to rise. BOO-YAH. I have done actual experiments out in the real world to test the validity of this step, because to be honest I though it was a stupid concept. The age old "fake it til you make it" adage had never rung true for me, but running out of options I have put it to the test. The last time I did was on a particularly sour day and I managed to convey enough confidence in workout clothes and without a drop of sleep or makeup showing on my face, to get asked out by a complete stranger. A hot one. Not in a bar or in a social setting but at a gas station on my way home from the gym. NUMBER FIVE WORKS. 

Put a fork in it.


Emily said...

these pictures are too adorable for words...look at that little mini-you! love the color, btw. looks super natural and really pretty.

V. said...

You know you learned your wonderful writing skills on that fateful day I MADE YOU GO TO SCHOOL with bad hair.
You are awesome,
Love, Mom

Joan@SolidGroundBIC said...

Your hair color looks great. Oh our darling Avery... can't wait to see all of you. Love, Joan

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I'm also a die hard dying at home girl. rock on!

Anonymous said...

ahh dying my hair at home I mean!

Debbie said...

lol if i left the house w/o an ounce of makeup and no sleep, my own parents would be screaming no matter how confident i acted. you got asked out cause you are hot! plain and simple :D

Rachael said...

What a wonderful post. I love the pic of you and your daughter (you look amazing without makeup!) and I'm just about to go away and try tip #4.