Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School: The Outfit Blues

Well. It's Monday. My last day of freedom. So far I've spent it pretty well. Hanging out with my boyfriend, watching movies, and just trying to relax. But still. I have school. Tomorrow. I don't have anything to wear. Well. That's not true. I have lots of clothes to wear. I just don't have anything to wear.

I like to look nice. Even if I'm feeling absolutely terrible I try not to look like I was hit by a semi-frozen steak several times. Even more so, I like to make good first impressions. I don't care that I've had all these teachers before and I've been with these same 74 other students for going on twelve years. That doesn't really matter to me. I want to show them I'm not a slob. I do care about what people think of me. I want to show them that maybe I'm not the person they remembered.

I'm not one of those girls who goes out and gets a whole new wardrobe for a new year of school. I've been the same size for the last two years so I really only buy new clothes when I have to replace old worn out ones. I don't particularly understand those girls. You've already got a closet full of clothes that you've worn maybe three or four times. Why don't you just pair it with a different pair of jeans some cute bangles and call it a whole new outfit? Instead it's banished to the back of the closet and given a dirty look every time it sees daylight. If you're not gonna wear it, donate it! I love shopping at Goodwill and other Thriftstores. It's a great way to get awesome clothes for cheap. And if you're not into the buying, donating your clothes is a great way for a family tight on money to buy nice clothes for themselves. Just clean out your closet and drop it off!

I still haven't decided. I thought... skirt? No. That seems too goody-goody. So... Jeans. Ripped, dark wash, faded? Probably a lighter pair. Maybe the one with the small hole. Tennis shoes. But the shirt... So many choices... And the hair! Oh... the hair. It's gonna be a long evening of trying on outfit after outfit, folks. The things we do to feel pretty.

Remember. I'm still looking for questions and topics for the Q&A Blog. Comment any post with your inquiries or topics.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to School: Dreading the School Lunch

I hate school lunches. I hate, hate, hate school lunches. The sad thing is, my school has one of the best lunch programs in the state. And it's absolutely disgusting. The chicken patties are made of everything but the cluck. We have some gross pizza-like substance at least four times a month. We no longer are allowed salt, pepper, peanut butter, or anything with real sugar in it. Everything is canned or frozen or bagged. Talk about ew. In fact, there are only two days that every student looks forward to; Breadstick day (Who knows what the actual main dish is) and Mini Corndog/French bread sub (I'm partial to the sub myself). Every other day is dreaded. Well, except nacho day. We only have nachos on a half day.

After suffering eleven years of carb rich imitation food, I've finally found the motivation to start bringing my own lunch. Yup. After a nine o'clock new tupperware run to Wal-mart and a fancy new lunchbox from the kitchen section, I was all set. Well. Except I had no idea what I was gonna make.

I like eating healthy. But I'm still pretty picky. I don't like meat with a lot of fat. I hate carrots, lettuce, fish, raisins, venison, and a host of other things. Still. By just searching around on the internet I've managed to find a bunch of simple delicious recipes that I can pack a few days in a row. A few I'm looking forward to trying is an orzo salad, a variety of wraps and pita pockets, and a recipe for the single chocolate chip cookie.

A popular trend sweeping lunch makers is a bento box. Bento (or Obento) is a japanese style of preparing a decorative healthy lunch by a standard ratio of food groups. The food is used to create a decorative and appealing landscape; whether it be fruit animals, cheese flower, an ocean view, or just a sammich cut into the shape of a dinosaur, all the food looks amazing. Though, I doubt I'll wake up early enough to attempt any of this, it's an interesting subject to read about and hear how people create these magnificent works.

I'd love to hear some suggestions on what meals make great next day lunches, and what your kids do about lunch. I'll be honest. I'm excited about this. Not only will it be saving some money, I can eat food I actually like. Try encouraging your teen to make lunch-even if it's only once a week.

Remember. I'm still looking for questions and topics for a Q&A Blog. Comment the below post with anything you'd like answered or discussed. :)


Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm a Teenager, Not a Doctor

Hello, Readers. So. I was thinking (Yes, contrary to popular belief, teens actually do that occasionally). You've been sitting here listening to me blather on about topics that might not concern you. Or perhaps they do concern you but you'd rather hear about a different topic. Or maybe you'd just have a question about why your teen does what he or she does. So, today's post isn't going to be about anything. In fact, it's your turn to do some of the work (though one can hardly call it that). Comment below with any questions you'd like answered or any topics you'd like covered.

Asking for a little help or guidance is never a bad thing. Besides, it's the internet. No one need ever know you didn't know how to handle something. Just act like it was all you. ;) Remember. When dealing with your teen in any situation there are four words to live by; calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. Can't wait to see your questions. :)


Friday, August 28, 2009

"Remember, You're Not Allowed to Date Until You're Married."

Oh no. She's met someone. And instead of just fawning from afar wishing he'd notice her, he has noticed her. And he's invited her to see a movie Friday night. Panic alert! Panic alert! What do you do!? Lock her in her room, throw away the key, put bars on her window!! Uhm. No. Deep breath. Put down the padlock. Take a seat. Let's be rational.

A first date is a big deal-for you and for her. Everyone wants their first date, first kiss, first boyfriend to be nothing but picture perfect. Unfortunately this isn't always the case. But. There's a few things you can do to make everything go a little smoother and put her at ease.

Before saying she's not allowed to go, let's think about some things and ask some questions.
  • Do you know the boy? What kind of a reputation does he have? Does he get in trouble a lot?
  • Where will they be going? When will they be getting back? How will they be getting there?
  • What happens if the date goes bad? Does she know what to do if she needs to find another way home?
It's always important to have an answer to these questions. And to make sure your daughter is safe and comfortable in any situation. Becoming more independent is a rite of passage, but it's still acceptable to want to know where your daughter will be and how she can get home if she's not safe.

So. She's going on the date. There's always a few things we wish our parents would or wouldn't do. Here are a few tips. Keep in mind that these are only tips and should only be followed where the situation is appropriate.
  • Stay calm and collected
  • Give your honest opinion about which outfit you like better
  • Offer to help when the curling iron gets stuck in her hair and she panics
  • Remind her to have fun and that everything will be ok
  • Leave the light on for when she comes home
  • Sit in the living room "cleaning the guns"
  • Spy on them when she gets dropped back off
  • Get out the baby book
  • Be in the way when he rings the doorbell (Try sitting in the kitchen and just eavesdropping instead)
  • Grill her about the date when she gets home (Wait until tomorrow and just imply you'd like to hear about it)
Remember. In any situation, you must remain calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. If you feel that your son or daughter is in serious danger, talk to them, find out what is happening and do your best to keep them safe. This isn't an excuse to keep them under lock and key, however. You have to trust that you've brought them up well and that they can be responsible for their own well being. Smile! Someone has found your daughter captivating. :)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger! Teenage Mood Swings Ahead!

We all have our days where we want nothing more than to just repeatedly bash our heads into a large concrete wall. We all have our days where we want nothing more than to just pull the blankets over our head and sob our eyes out. That's life. But when someone you love is feeling like this, you can't help but want to make them feel better. But, as teenagers, we are bound to the creed of believing everything our parents do is uncool. So, when we're upset, we don't necessarily want your help. But of course you want to help, but you don't know how to talk to her when she's upset without immediately getting kicked out. So, may I present The Steps to Approaching Your Teenage Daughter when She's Upset.

Step One: Wait Ten Minutes.
That's right. Finish watching your show. Pet the cat. Get a snack. Check your e-mail. Do not approach the teenager.

Step Two: Peace Offering
Whether it's a bar of chocolate to lift her spirits, a glass of water to keep her from getting dehydrated, or a bowl of her favorite comfort food, this will definitely keep you from getting kicked out immediately.

Step Three: If She Don't Wanna Talk, She Ain't Gonna Talk
Talking does make everything seem better or less significant or just easier to bear. But if she doesn't want to talk about it, nothing you can say will get her to talk. Just say "Ok, I'll be [insert location here] if you need something." The only time you should force her to talk, is if you seriously think she is going to harm herself or someone else.

Step Four A: If She's Talking... Listen Up!
Don't interject your little comments. Don't lecture her. And if the boyfriend broke up with her, do not under pain of death use any of the following statements: "You deserve better", "He was a jerk", "It's not you, it's him" "There's plenty of fish in the sea". She probably still has feelings for the boy so insulting him isn't going to help. And chances are, she still wants him so it won't matter if a whale floats by looking for attention. Stay calm and collected. Limit one hug given by you. If she wants another hug, go for it. But don't invade her space too much. Let her talk. Let her vent. She won't want a lecture or to hear about your escapades as a teen after she's done. Ask her if she feels better now, if she wants you to stay, or if she needs anything. If not, leave. Sometimes it's better for us to figure things out by ourselves.

Step Four B: If She's Not Talking... Stay Calm
She may not want to talk to you, but that's alright. Often times we need someone who sees exactly what happens at school or with friends to understand us. Sometimes we just want to cry into the pillow and hug the cat. So let us. She'll come out of her room eventually. Go on about your day, leave dinner by the bedroom door, and find some way to occupy yourself. You may never know what upset her. You'll have to deal with that fact and move on. The best thing you can do is be mindful of our needs (As in, food, water, love) and be available should we need you.

Step Five: Love... Love is All You Need
Love your daughter or son. Even if you don't understand a thing about them. Love will make you so much more approachable. And be reasonable. This goes for all things. Your daughter wants to go to a movie with her friends Saturday night? Don't immediately nix the idea, mull it over, find out who's going, how and when she's going to be home, and then decide. And remember, we screw up sometimes. But you gotta let us. That's how we learn. Remember. Calm, collected, reasonable, and loving. Your teen will thank you for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Fun House Mirror Effect

That's right folks! Step right on up for the Fun House Mirrors! See yourself in all sorts of kooky, crazy, zany ways! That's right, Miss, see how huge that zit on your forehead is? And dear, just look at how the mirror emphasizes your round tush. That's right folks! Step right up and be the next distorted victim of The Fun House Mirror Effect!

That's right everyone. Today we'll be discussing self-image and why we all feel the need to put ourselves down about it. Let's start with some confessions. Yes, I do occasionally call myself ugly. Yes, I sometimes cannot stand the way I look. No, my hair rarely does what I want it to. No, that zit will not disappear no matter how many times I close my eyes and wish it to be. No, I'm not super-model gorgeous. No, I don't have a problem with that. Woah! Woah! Stop the presses, alert the media, call the police! This girl does not want to be that pretty. Talk about high maintenance.

One little zit, one little fly away, a little frizz, or puffy eyes and look out world! The queen of too much caked on make-up and not enough self esteem is out to play today. Why do we feel the need to blow these small beauty problems out of proportion? They happen to everyone. And, while they certainly aren't going to attract a flock of fanboys, it's not going to act as guy repellent. So, what's the big deal? Why do we have to down ourselves and tell the mirror image that today is going to be a bad day and that you're ugly and no one loves you? Heebie jeebies, someone hit that woman with the hammer of self-confidence!

Maybe it's not about impressing Him (and yes, in the mind of teenage girl, that special boy deserves the capital 'H'). Maybe it's about reassuring ourselves. Reassuring ourselves that we do look good, and we are pretty just like ours mom said. But we can't trust ourselves can we? So, instead we decide that we need to cake on pound after pound of make-up and hide who we truly are.

What happened to the days of putting on our frilliest dress and being pretty? What happened to the days of being sunburned everywhere and being pretty? What happened to the days of our mom's braiding our hair and we were pretty? What happened to the days of running around in nothing but a swimsuit for hours and being pretty? What happened to the days of people telling us we were pretty, cute, adorable, beautiful, gorgeous, breath-taking, lovely, stunning and we believed them?

Go find a mirror. Yeah, right now. I don't care if it's a little handheld mirror or a full length kinda thing, just do it. Now look at yourself. Instead of focusing on all the flaws and things you wish you could change, name five things you like about yourself or you think is pretty. It sounds dumb, cliche, whatever. Just do it. Now, I want you took look yourself in the eye repeat after me and no finger crossing! "I am gorgeous. I am so [uh-oh] pretty. I don't care who says I'm not. I am and always will be the hottest thing on the block." I definitely agree. Haha. Now. Go treat yourself to that candy bar or bowl of ice cream you've been craving 'cause girl, you deserve it for being so darn good looking!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"She is such a (uh-oh)!!"

So, tonight I spent at least six hours watching movies and laughing with friends who I hadn't seen all summer. After a little while of chatting and gossip-spilling, we finally decided on a movie. For anyone who hasn't watched He's Just Not That Into You, I highly recommend it. It tells the stories of multiple women going through a bunch of common relationship problems. One woman's husband cheats on her, another is just looking for love, and another's boyfriend just doesn't believe in marriage while she wants nothing more.

At one point, we were all busily yelling expletives at the blonde chic who convinces the husband to cheat. Moments later, one of my friends exclaims "I hate girls! I hate, hate, hate girls!" Everyone eagerly chirped their agreement. But why? What is it about ourselves that drives the rest of our half of the population absolutely insane? Does no one realize that the very people issuing this judgment are, in fact, girls themselves?

Why? I don't understand it in the slightest and yet I find myself agreeing with them. Am I jealous of them? Am I stereotyping and labeling them all as 'trouble'? Or, maybe, I see them doing the same cruel actions I might've once done that I hate myself for. But why should that make me hate girls? All girls? It seems unfair that I should generalize like this. But I can't stop myself. Does this make me a horrible person? I don't know.

The rest of my night has been full of reflection and quiet thought. Though, I can't say I've gotten much of anywhere. In fact, it's brought about more questions than answers. I was unsuccessful in reaching a conclusion behind the thought process and topic of tonight's blog. But, something tells me that I may never understand this part of my own brain. And strangely, I'm okay with that. Somethings are better left unknown.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scratching the Surface on Texting

Today, I was feeling a little lost and depressed. My cell phone battery has been dead since yesterday. And of course, I'm panicking. Why don't I just charge it? The charger was left at my brothers' house and I probably won't get it for another few days. You may not think this is that big of a deal, but it really is.

All day I've been getting messageses on my Facebook wall asking me if I got so-and-so's text. Nope. I really haven't. No, I swear. I'm not ignoring you. I swear! I'm not! It's my phone! I promise! Oh, fine. Don't believe me then. As a result of all this out of the loop-ness , I have been checking my Facebook page every ten minutes to make sure I haven't missed out on some piece of gossip, some exciting plans to meet somewhere, or the status updates of my friends.

"But texting is so... impersonal. And all that bad grammar and spelling!" You say. Well. Let's start with the bad grammar and spelling. You think we do it because we're lazy. We do it because most of us pay per text sent and have to fit as much as we can into those 160 characters so we don't have to send an extra text and cost us more money. It's not a matter of can we spell and do we remember what we were taught in English, it more of a 'Do we want to spend more money?' kind of a thing.

Point numero dos. Impersonal. My bum it is. So, you may not actually be face to face or be able to actually hear what the person is saying. But after a while, you can hear the person speaking in your mind. You pick up their mannerisms and can truly hear them speaking even though it's just a bunch of letters on a screen. Besides. There's so much you can do with words. What is a conversation but words strung together to create a conversation as beautiful as a string of pearls. Who says this has to be limited to face to face conversation? You underestimate the power of a few words.

All in all, texting is a broad subject. There's so much more to consider. But it's convenient, easy, and can be cheaper than certain calling plans. So, why not? Besides. All teenagers like playing with a new toy. ;)

PS: My dad picked me up a car charger. He said if I was going to be driving around in winter I should have one anyways. Crisis averted.


The Beginning of the End or Perhaps the End of the Beginning

Well. I did it. I finally started my own blog. I'd thought about doing this for quite a while, but I'd never thought of anything interesting enough to blog about. Of course it finally hit me. Life.

Let's be honest, how many of you can honestly say you understand your teenage daughter, niece, friend, acquaintance? Just one hand? Well, you with your hand up, you're probably lying to yourself and consequently us. But that's where I come in. As a teenage girl, my mission is to try and give you a glimpse into the crazy hedge maze that is our lives. So, tighten your seatbelts, keep all limbs inside the vehicle at all times, and we'll do our best to keep you safe on the topsy-turvy rollercoaster that is being a teenager.