Monthly Archives: November 2011

“It was worth every second next to that hot nut cart”

Have you seen this TED talk from Brittany Gibbons?  She’s one of the founders of Curvy Girl Guide, an online magazine that covers all your basic lady magazine fodder, but told from the perspective of regular sized women.

She started this campaign to get women to hate their bodies less by showing off her own body, standing in Times Square in her bathing suit.  The video of this talk is breathtaking.  Her conviction is contagious and her palpable fear at being on stage makes her seem real and relatable.  She’s not some Amazonian plus sized super model lolling about in her knickers telling me that I should believe in my own beauty; she’s a regular lady, being nervous about taking off her clothes in front of strangers.
At the end, she shows photos of other women in their bathing suits.  They all saw her on tv, baring it (mostly) all, being brave, and sending this message that she’s ok with how she looks.  And I totally teared up.  People being inspired by other people is always a tear jerker for me.

I loved everything about it.  Almost.

About five and a half minutes in, she says “I’m a mother three times over… I’ve earned ever single curve on my body.  And if that’s not sexy, I don’t know what is.”

And I felt annoyed at her.  Like she didn’t totally own up to her body, which she did say was the same body she’s had since she was 8.  She *earned* every curve by being a mother, which made those curves holy or something, instead of just the ordinary result of too much couch time.  No free pass for being fat if you haven’t been a mother?  Does she think she wouldn’t be sexy or be less sexy if she hadn’t had children?

I asked her about it, actually, and she graciously responded saying that it took motherhood for her to understand and appreciate her body.  Which I get.  I think.  I’m not really sure how much I can grok that perspective without being a mother myself, but I think I get it.

But still.

I don’t think it matters why you got fat, or why you stay fat, or if you’re working to be less fat.

What other people say or think is irrelevant.  Be ok with who you are.  Change things that you don’t like if you don’t like them.  But you can still be ok along the way.  You’re ok if you’re a mom.  Or a dad.
I’m ok.  You’re ok.


Filed under Chubby girl, the interwebs

This one goes on the Boo Shelf: The Particular Sadness of the Lemon Cake

I spent some of my precious Thanksgiving weekend hours reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender.


The girl character, Rose, can taste the feelings of the people whose food she eats.  Kinda like Like Water for Chocolate, except she doesn’t feel rage if the food’s full of rage, she just won’t like eating that cookie.  So there’s an element of mysticalness, but it doesn’t spin into something cool.  She eats factory made potato chips instead and we continue to plod through the dynamics of her adolescence.  It’s a typical lady-literature bit of fiction, that delves into the very ordinary little pains and misunderstandings and disconnects of a family.  The mom is a little too flighty and dad is a little too regular.  The brother probably has Asperger’s and our heroine is just sliding under the radar.  We get extra bittersweet insight into other characters, especially the mother, due to Rose’s foodie affliction.

It turns out that weird super powers run in the family, though, ’cause her brother turns into a folding chair and no one ever sees him again.

You think I kid.

But seriously.  Her brother vanishes never to be seen again, because he has turned into a chair.  Only Rose knows the truth.  Dad acts like it’s fine, maybe a little puzzling, that his son has disappeared.  And mom just believes that he’s exploring the Andes.

And Rose keeps her brother the folding chair safely tucked away in her closet.


I can’t even pretend to appreciate this lady’s nice writing style because just eye roll.

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Filed under Book crave

weekend in pictures







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Filed under Photography, weekend in pictures

what boys like

I don’t do Black Friday.  Too wild and woolly for me.  But I have spent an inordinate amount of time in the past two days scouring gift guides, catalogs and websites in an online shopping fiesta.

I usually find shopping for guys to be a challenge.  They don’t seem to be as covetous of stuff as the ladies, unless they’ve got an itch for some $800 rucksack for extreme camping.  While I don’t scratch those  kind of itches, I think I’ve actually come up with a ton of great stuff this year.

Men folk in my life will be receiving some of this bounty come Christmas.  Have a gander…

For guys who can rock a good cardigan…

Osterley Fair Isle Cardigan - $169

For an elbow patch appreciator…

H&M elbow patch sweater - $29.95

For your favorite ninja…

Samurai Sword Handled Umbrella - $29.99

For your beer guy…

Brew Your Own Beer Kit - $38

For the guy with spirits…

Ice Melts. Whisky Rocks. - $20

For meat snacks on the go guy…

7 Flavors of Jerky - $33

For meat snacks at home guy…

2 gourmet salumi - $25

For the guys with shoes…

Benjo's colored shoe lacing - $6

For the goofy guy…

Animal Butt Magnets - $14

For the outdoorsy guy…

Classic Opinel Pocket Knife - $16

For the puzzled guy…

Metal disentanglement puzzles - $15

I haven’t gotten all my guys yet, though, so any finds that you’ve been partial to are most welcome!  What are you getting for your dads, brothers, husbands and various other flavors of man-friends?









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Filed under Nifty things, Shopping

my favorite day of the year

couch pyjamas

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a marvelous day.  It has no purpose.  No agenda.  There’s still a whole weekend after that I can push the chores and errands into it.   It’s a day that seems specifically engineered to pay homage to pyjamas and movies on tv.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thanksgiving is a pretty good day, too.

The David and I ran a 10K Turkey Trot in the morning.  He ran the whole way with me, which I loved.  Thankful doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to have a person who’ll do that.

My head rationalizes that 6 miles isn’t really that far, but it sure feels like an epic saga while you’re in it.  An hour and fifteen minutes is a big chunk of time!  There was a good amount of trudgery struggledy.  And an unholy number of uphills.  But the recollection of that yuck seems vague and fuzzy now.  What I do remember was the incredible rainbow that we saw for much of the way in between miles 3 and 4.  And I remember the vanilla It’s-it I got at the finish.

Race bling in a tree

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And then there’s the wonderful gluttonous feasting of Thanksgiving.  Oh the fabulous feasting!

My friends-who-are-family set up a deep fryer in their little backyard every year.  If you’ve never had deep fried turkey before, it’s not like what you get from a bucket at KFC.  Mostly it’s the same as everyone else’s turkey, but it cooks in about half an hour.  And because it cooks so quickly, it tends to be moister than roasted birds.

But it is pretty feckin terrifying to watch.

the turkey goes into a vat of boiling oil

We had a an impressive spread.  The David and I made Smitten Kitchen’s Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin and Thomas Keller’s Creamed Pearl Onions.

plate full of yum

We also made a Pumpkin Panna Cotta with pomegranate seeds for dessert.  I had no idea how easy panna cotta was to make.  Seriously.  It’s like making Jell-o.  I highly recommend trying it out.
The hardest part really was getting the extra ramekins we needed to serve 8 since I’m Maggie and I needed to have the fancy porcelain ones from France.

pretty dessert

And now I’m eating too much popcorn, half way paying attention to movies and deepening the ass divit in my couch.

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Filed under Foodery, these are the days of my lives, Uncategorized

little facts


1.  I just tried to use the word kniving in a sentence.  It looked so weird that I started to doubt whether it was even a real word.  Which, of course, it is – but only if you spell it conniving.

2.  I had an opportunity to use the word conniving in an email to my boss type person today.

3.  You’re more likely to hurt yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one.

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Filed under Little Facts, Tidbit

tiny books

I haven’t used my proper camera in forever because I am well and truly addicted to Instagram.

My love for this free iPhone app is like a perfect little glowing ball of warm fuzzy.

So when I discovered Prinstagram and the printed products they create from Instagram photos, I knew a purchase was pending.

Of course I wanted the tiny books.  TINY!  BOOKS!  But you need to have 72 photos to get 3 tiny books with no repeated images and I had only just installed the app on my phone that week.

Truth be told, the whole reason I installed the app was because my own company was launching a new  photobook from Instagram photos.  I was being a good employee and checking out the product.  But our books were simply not as tiny.  And that is where my priorities lay.

Then one day, a few weeks later, I had my 72 photos.  And that is the day I gave Prinstagram my $10 to give me my tiny books.

They took ages to get here.  They had to walk here all the way from Taiwan apparently.

But get here they did and boy.  Are they.  TINY.  !!!




And also?  Also!  They are magnetic.  So you can take your wondering about what the heck I’m going to do with ridiculously small books filled with faux vintage camera phone pictures, write them down on a slip of paper, and I will magnetify that note to the nearest steel or iron surface with my tiny book.


Filed under Nifty things

I did one thing that scares me

Last week, I signed myself up for the Alt Design Summit, a conference for design and lifestyle bloggers.

I have a lot of feelings about this.  Generally feelings that involve swear words.  And while I’m ok having a little f-bomb here and there, the quality and quantity of verbiage burbling in my head is more than I feel comfortable posting.

So use your imagination.

What the shiznip was I thinking?  I’m not a snarfing lifestyle blogger. And I’m sure as shiitake not a design blogger.  The registration is not refundable!  All of the strangers!  And the mingling!  Meeting people and trying to tell them that I have a blog!  Bocce balls!

etc etc etc

It was a glittering hailstorm of self doubt that escalated in a week of not blogging at all.  What’s the best way to fulfill one’s self fulfilling prophecy of having a shitty blog?  Don’t blog at all!

So, it’s Monday again now and I am still terrified of what I’ve done.  But I’m going to cache in on a current über cliche and just try to keep calm and carry on.

It’s not until January 18th.  That’s ages away.  No point getting all hepped up about it now.

And fear of what other people will think of me is unacceptable reason to stop doing something I want to do.  It’s ok to be afraid.  It’s not ok to let that feeling bully me.

My anxiety about this is forcing me to realize something:  writing this little blog is important to me.  I feel very insecure about it and am therefore loathe to admit it, but I really want to make it work.  I don’t know what making it work means yet, but I know I haven’t done it.  The desire to achieve that making-it-workness was actually the driving force behind signing up for Alt Summit.  I’m hopeful that it will be inspiring and educational.

That hope got seriously overwhelmed by bad attitude.  And just like after a miserable failure with my diet, after a week off from blogging, I feel the allure of just giving up.

The bossy annoying half of my head is all “You can’t give up!  You JUST admitted that this is important to you!”
So the creative writer side says “Oh, yeah, bossypants?  What’s tomorrow’s awesome post going to be about then, you snatch hatcher?  Maybe you should write it!”
Fisticuffs ensue.

I can’t even tell you about how that fight turns out because it is still tumbling around, in and out, through plate glass windows.  Just like Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver.  Except with fewer British accents.

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Filed under About a blog

weekend in pictures








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you feel like somebody’s watching you?

I was reading a blog last week that brought up an issue that i’ve seen a cart load of times on various healthy living and weight loss blogs:  “I worry about working out because I’m afraid of other people seeing me.”

This particular blog was addressing an US Weekly article that Runner’s World Magazine posted on Facebook about a chubby KFed going for a run.  The article touched a sore point for a lot of people, who are afraid of being judged and ridiculed if they step foot outside to exercise.  If US Weekly can make fun of Kevin Federline, then probably everyone else is making fun of you, too, right?

In response to the article and the resulting flack that RW got for posting it, Ben basically says that the fear that other people are judging you is “nearly 100% in your head.”

I just had to say that I really disagree.

Maybe I am on the supreme court of judgmentalism, but I always notice people, including those people working out.  My eyeballs are open.  And I know what overweight looks like.  Or what morbidly obese looks like.  Which is not to say that I can calculate your BMI just by looking.  I’m not the Rainman of fatness here.  But given the miracle of sight, I do see people working out and I notice if they’re overweight.

I notice people’s clothing.  Their hair.  Their makeup.  If they can walk in their high heel shoes.  And to some degree, these things say something.  Like you have a corporate job.  You like wearing all black.  You spend time getting your hair done.  Maybe I will guess that you are a tourist from Belarus.

I make observations in the gym and out running, as well.
If you’re in my line of vision and you’re chubby, I will notice.
But the same goes if you’ve got an incredible body.
And if you’re exceptionally, boringly normal, I will probably see you, too.  But you might not spark enough cogitation in my brain mechanism to warrant a fully formed thought.
Instead, I will have a fleeting notice of the guy with the really big arms and I will make the assumption that he probably works out a lot.
The really thin girl who is frantically pedaling away on the elliptical?  I will notice her and I’ll wonder about her.
The chick on the treadmill next to me in the terry track suit walking at 1.5 mph (for reals) pace while she farts around on her phone at 6 am…  I am definitely wondering about her, too.
If I saw a guy like Kevin Federline running around my lake, I would think in my head that he was fat and I’d wonder why he chose to run without a shirt.  But I tend to wonder the same thing about fitter guys, too.  Are they just really warm?  Do they think they look awesome?  Are they actually trying to show off their bodies in a kinda douchey way?  Or do they just like the way it feels?

I don’t think I’m special.  I think I’m pretty normal really.  And that means that most likely, people other than me are looking at you when you exercise.  You’re not invisible.  Surprise!

And people are going to notice if you’re overweight.  Which doesn’t mean that they’re thinking that you’re gross or that you don’t belong or that you suck.  But for most of us, our overweightness is not a secret.  It’s not like I’ve squirreled away an extra 50 pounds that I’ve discreetly hidden away in one foot.  You can see it, no matter what I’m wearing or what I’m doing.  It’s not a judgement.  It’s an observation.

If you are new to working out and you’re feeling nervous about all the *other people,* I do have some actual recommendations other than the above pontificated “get over it.”

Wear clothes.  KFed chose to go out without a shirt.  He knows he’s chubby.  He’ knows that there are paparazzi.  Obviously, he’s not worried about people seeing the fatness.  If you are, put a shirt on.

Get a good sports bra.  If your gazongas are bouncing around with wild abandon, people ARE going to notice.  I love the Moving Comfort Fiona bra.  Skinnie Emmie loves Enell.  There are tons of options.  Just get one that says it’s appropriate for the type of activity for your cup size.

Similarly, wear clothes that fit.  I don’t think it really matters if you were loose things or clingy things, although I’d recommend experimenting to see what you like if you are new to this.  But it’s really important for your workout clothes to fit well.  I know from personal, unfortunate experience that a too small top is going to ride up, exposing your tummy – be it perfectly flat and rippled or blobby and bulgy.  If you’re oozing out of your clothes in ways that the clothing was not designed for, other people are probably going to notice this, and not in a nice way.  If your clothes are specifically designed to expose oozing flesh, then by all means.

I was always worried that people were going to see me stop running and slowing to a walk and that they’d *know* that I was out of shape and couldn’t keep running.  Which was true, I was out of shape and I had to stop.  Looking back, I’d say that there are two things that would have helped here:  1)  using the couch to 5k program (which I did use and complete at a later time).  Having something else that is specifically telling you “it’s time to stop” is helpful.  You’re not wussing out.  You’re following instructions.  Don’t feel bad.  2)  slow down and pace yourself.  There’s a difference between having to walk because you’re completely out of breath after going too fast and walking in between intervals of running as you build up endurance.

Do it with a friend.  Having a pal makes everyone feel less self conscious.

Take off the Five Fingers.  Seriously.  They look weird.  They’re all gonna laugh at you and maybe throw tampons in the shower.

Ask for help.  If your gym doesn’t automatically give you a proper tour when you sign up, ask for one.  It helps to know where stuff is and how to use it.  And if you want to do the workout that you saw in last month’s Shape magazine, but you don’t where the stuff is that you need, just ask.  Those beautiful people at the front desk who joke around with all the regulars?  They can be totally helpful and in my experience, I’ve never sniffed an iota of judgement from one of them ever.

And finally, even if you are out there, jogging way too fast, with your boobs flying, your tummy flopping, all by yourself… what’s more important?  That you’re out there getting one step closer to being better, fitter faster?  Or that people are looking at you?



Filed under Chubby girl, I'll be up in the gym