Calling for Change and Equality

Last night, I voted for my loved ones and other members of the LGBT community who deserve the same rights and securities that I have. Last night, the town in which I live and work voted for discrimination.

There’s really no other way to say that, when the majority of voters chose to repeal an ordinance that was only recently put into place to protect members of the LGBT community from being fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes. It’s infuriating that in 2015, people are still so motivated by fear and, well, ignorance that they can knowingly vote against their fellow community members.

I saw several tweets and Facebook statuses that said things like “I can’t wait to get out of this town” and “This is exactly why I can’t wait to move” and “When these kinds of things happen, it makes me want to move far away.”

I get it. I feel those feels.

But, if everyone who is for equality moves, the town will never change. Change can’t happen when there’s no one here to support it.

As disheartening as it is that bigotry ultimately won, the fact that it was such a close race (51.4% – 48.6%) is encouraging. It means that voices are being heard and people are waking up. It means that negative attitudes directed toward the LGBT community are changing (albeit slowly). It means that organizations like ACLU of Missouri, Planned Parenthood Action, PROMO, One Springfield, and so many more are making a difference in our community.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is: Dear Friends and Family in Springfield’s LGBT Community, stay strong. Change is coming, and when it arrives, we will all celebrate. But, in the meantime, you have thousands of supporters who are pulling for you and are willing to help in any way possible. ❤

PS: If you live in the Springfield, MO area, you can view a list of businesses that supported the LGBT community by voting NO on the repeal here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Repeal-Business-Listing/836366719770139?fref=nf. Go, and support them!

Advertisements

Girl with the Owl Tattoo

Two weeks ago, I got my first tattoo. It was a random action on a random Tuesday. For the past two-ish years, I’ve been planning my first tattoo in painstaking detail. I had the quote and the location picked out–all I needed was the font (which, as you know, can be the hardest part of any design project).

Then, I saw that the tattoo shop I had been planning on going to was taking walk-ins in the evening. Boom. Done. I texted a friend of mine (who tried to talk me out of it) and my sister (who tried to talk me into it) and made the decision to get an owl tattooed on the inside of my ankle. Why an owl? Owls symbolize wisdom, a thirst for knowledge, and being aware of and connected to your intuition. Obviously, I couldn’t go wrong having an owl as my totem.

I was literally shaking as I walked into the shop. If you know me, you know I’m not the most spontaneous person. I go planner-shopping for God’s sake. I have, like, 16 calendars. I love spontaneously meeting up with friends for coffee or brunch, or I’ll jump on a plane for a spontaneous trip to Florida (okay, I wasn’t quite in my right mind when I did that), but I am not the girl who spontaneously gets a tattoo.

I'm tattooed!

I’m tattooed!

The whole process was ridiculously easy. I mean, my design wasn’t complicated, but I still thought there would be more to the experience. I had no idea what to expect. Basically, I emailed the design to the artist, and she printed it out and traced the outline on my skin. Once I was satisfied with the size and outline, the real fun began. It actually didn’t hurt that badly, and it only took about 10 minutes. Again, the design wasn’t complicated, but I didn’t expect it to go so quickly.

Just LOOK at that cute little owl! To me, it doesn’t only symbolize all of the awesome things I listed earlier, but it also reminds me not to take things quite so seriously. It reminds me that not all things have to be planned out for days, weeks, or months. It reminds me to be spontaneous and to do things that are out of my comfort zone.

owl 2

Every time I look at it, I smile. Oh, and what they say about tattoos is true–getting inked is addictive. Do any of you have tattoo stories or ideas? I’ve got two more ideas on the back burner for another random Tuesday.

A Yoga Story

Do you remember back in the day when TLC ran shows named A Baby Story and A Wedding Story? No? Okay, well, I must be old.

Let me start out by saying that I really enjoy yoga. Lately, though, my normal yoga routine has been seriously lacking. For the past year or so, I’ve been doing yoga a couple of days a week during my lunch hour. The University I work for has a yoga instructor that comes in and leads the class, and I always leave there feeling like I’ve had a good workout. I’ve also participated in a Yoga in the Park program the community has every year, and I’ve done a hot yoga class a couple of times.

Again, I’ve always enjoyed whatever class I’m in, but there has always been something missing. Yoga isn’t just about stretches and movement; it involves mindfulness and total body-mind balance. That’s the component I haven’t been getting.

Last summer, I bought a Groupon for a month’s worth of classes at a local yoga studio. I fiiiiiinally got around to using it at the end of September, and I. Am. Loving. It. I’ve been going to a variety of classes and I have gotten to experience a couple of especially mentally and physically challenging practices (more on this later).

The instructors are wonderful, and I love that we begin each class by dedicating our practice to all living creatures, and we end each class by celebrating the light and love each of us brings. Those two practices help me be focused and mindful not only of my postures during each movement but also of my breath and the directions of my thoughts.

I still have a couple weeks left, but I’m already planning on becoming a member at this studio. I think it’s going to be a good fit for me! Do any of you do yoga? What’s your favorite part about it?

Vibrant Food: Beautiful and Unattainable

I love to cook. I love using fresh, locally-grown ingredients that are colorful and tasty. When I saw Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink as an option on Blogging for Books, I got SO excited – I obviously had to order it.

Let me just tell you – I received it in July, and I still haven’t made anything from it. The book itself is absolutely gorgeous. The photography is beautiful, and I LOVE the simple layout and design. I also appreciate that it is divided by seasons rather than by type of food. I’m quirky like that.

The only problem is, the recipes all use ingredients that I can’t easily find here in Springfield, MO, and when I have been able to find them, they’ve been rather expensive. I frankly didn’t want to spend the money on ingredients that I would only use once or twice. Don’t get me wrong, the recipes look delicious, but they seem better suited for people with more time – and a bigger budget – than I currently have.

Even though I haven’t made any of the recipes yet, I’m definitely holding onto it. I’m sure I’ll find something to make from it eventually. It’s just not in the cards for right now.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Weekend Trip to Kanas City

Over Labor Day weekend, I went to Kansas City to visit one of my best friends. We had a blast! I wasn’t able to take a “real” vacation this summer (this summer was waaaay too busy for that kind of nonsense), so this was definitely a great getaway!

KC is always fun to explore.  From the sports fanatic to the fashionista, there’s something for everyone! Here’s a brief overview of what was the perfect weekend for two, late-20’s, fun-loving ladies.

We started off the weekend by buying everything at Trader Joe’s. Sadly, my fair town of Springfield doesn’t have a TJ’s, so I go crazy anytime I get to visit one. I’m pretty sure our cashier thought we were legitimately insane. #whatevawhateva

Capture

Trader Joe’s haul.

Saturday was our adventure day. We started off getting our culture on by visiting a couple of FREE art museums. I mean, I totally would have paid to get into the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, but hey, it was definitely a perk. I would definitely recommend both museums to anyone who visits KC.

Louise Bourgeois | Spider, 1997

Louise Bourgeois | Spider, 1997

Various pieces from the Kemper and the Nelson.

Various pieces from the Kemper and the Nelson.

Front lawn of the Nelson-Atkins

Front lawn of the Nelson-Atkins

After visiting the museums, we decided to head to Westport to grab lunch and to wander. I love the Westport district. There are so many different kinds of shops and fun restaurants and bars!

Saturday night was the big event. We saw Chippendales perform at the AmeriStar. It was just as hilarious and cheesy as you can imagine! Helloooo, pretty men!

I think you can figure this out.

I think you can figure this out.

On Sunday, we visited the church where another friend preaches, and we had lunch with my friend’s family. We also went to the Legends to shop. We grabbed drinks at the T-Rex Cafe (they were NOT good), and we got pupusas at a little El Salvadorian restaurant. I’m now obsessed with pupusas.

Monday, we took it easy. That was the day I left, but before I headed out, we went to a new restaurant in Liberty, MO. It has several vegetarian options, so it was perfect for me! If you’re ever in Liberty, I highly recommend getting the quinoa breakfast burrito at Morning Day Cafe. You won’t be disappointed!

As you can tell, we were able to fit A LOT into the weekend. It was so great! What are some of your favorite things to do in Kansas City? Did you do anything fun over the long weekend?

Perfect Summer Dinner

Guys, I LOVE summer. Seriously, it’s my favorite season. I love the heat (although I’m not a huge fan of the humidity), the sunshine, the pool, the longer days, and the produce. Is there anything better than fresh summer produce? No? I didn’t think so.

The super easy dinner I made the other night featured tomatoes. Perfect, juicy, wonderful tomatoes. Unfortunately, it did not feature these tomatoes that my sister picked from my grandparents’ garden. I left the homegrown ones at their house. #fail

Freshly picked tomatoes from my grandparents' garden.

Freshly picked tomatoes from my grandparents’ garden.

Sunday evening, I wanted something that featured tomatoes. It also needed to be quick to make, because I was getting hangry. For those of you who don’t know what hangry means, it is when you’re angry because you’re hungry. Hanging out at the pool can be hard work!

I decided that an open-face tomato sandwich would fit the bill.  I baked mine for a few minutes, so it was creamy from the mozzarella cheese and tangy from the tomato. It was perfection.

2

For this deliciousness, you will need:

  • Bread (I used some take-and-bake bread that had roasted garlic in it. SO GOOD.)
  • Tomatoes (obviously)
  • Fresh mozzarella (regular would be fine in a pinch)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

3

So, first, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, I put a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and sliced a few of the bread on it. I drizzled that with some olive oil. I put a couple of thin slices of the fresh mozzarella on the bread, and sliced up a tomato on top of the cheese. I sprinkled some salt and pepper over the tomatoes, and five minutes later, I threw everything into the oven. About 10 minutes later, everything was perfect. The tomatoes were warm, the cheese was melted, and the bread was toasted. Mmmm….soooo good!

4

This is SO easy to make! I did end up making a salad to eat with it, but everything was finished in less than 15 minutes. Now, that’s the way to make dinner.

What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

 

Proud Adulting Moment

Hello, dear readers! I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. The past month has been just been insanely busy.

This morning was extremely frustrating. On my way to work, I decided to grab some caffeine to stop the pounding headache I had (okay, I’m addicted to coffee…let’s move on). I was in the drive-thru lane of Starbies,  AND MY CAR STOPPED WORKING. WHAT. That’s not supposed to happen. Luckily, I was able to pull into the parking lot so I wasn’t between a million caffeine-crazed people and their coffee beverages.

For those of you who know me, you probably definitely know that I don’t deal with car-related issues well. I loathe having to deal with car problems. I mean, my car doesn’t really have problems, but still. When it does, I tend to fly off the handle a bit. My philosophy is the car has one job to do, and I should just be able to turn the key and go. Anyway, if this had happened a year ago, I probably would have called either my mom or brother in tears, begging them to deal with it. Yes, I realize this is irrational since my mom lives 70+ miles away, and the brother I would call lives 600+ miles away. Whatever.

Today, though, I calmly called my insurance company to have them send a tow truck since I now have roadside assistance, and then I called my mechanic to let them know I was on the way. The whole process actually went very smoothly. I’m proud of the way I handled the situation, and I thought I would share that adult moment with you all.

Also, in case you were wondering, I did not get my caffeine fix at Starbies. The mechanic I go to has a Keurig machine in the lobby though, so I made that work.