Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Love Lounge: Let's Talk Double Standards!

We live in a world full of categorizations. We like to be able to easily define and recognize things. Women. Men. Kids. What said women, men and kids should and shouldn't do. It helps us explain the world and puts our minds at ease.

But there's some "defining" that I just can't get behind. It's more of a double standard, I suppose, between women and men. Maybe you can guess which double standard I'm talking about. You know the one. I'm sure you do.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not some feminist trying to get all up on her high horse here. Well, I am a feminist, but that's beside the point here. Actually, why am I even qualifying this by saying, "I'm not...."? See, those double standards work in subtle and quite damaging ways. Would you expect a man to qualify or justify why he was presenting his argument?

I didn't think so.

I suppose, really, my question is this: When it comes to love, why is there such a blatant double standard when it comes to men and women? Why is their behavior supposed to followed a very strict and specific script? When a man pursues a woman, it's romantic. We get visions of romantic comedies and adorably nerdy Lloyd Doblers standing under our windows blasting In Your Eyes; it's all a very dewy, dreamy-eyed fantasy. When a woman does the same thing, she's seen as clingy and desperate and the next bunny boiler. Now, we're getting nightmares of Glenn Close getting, well, a bit too close -- pun intended.

What's so wrong about a woman genuinely being interested in a man for the simple reason of wanting to get to know him. There's no ulterior motive. No false pretense. No games. No pretending to be someone you're not. Just a real, honest desire to connect with another person. How did that ever get so twisted up and turned into something so bad -- almost like it was a Saturday night Lifetime movie with creepy music and a sinister-sounding plot.

That, or the plot to JAWS. Because I promise that not every woman is a shark circling the water just waiting for its prey. And trust me, we're not all bunny boilers, either.
I'd love to know, friends: Where do you fall on the classic Double Standard Debate? Still relevant? Old news? Blown completely out of proportion? Share your thoughts in the comments! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

In The Pursuit of Happiness: Demi Lovato on Mental Illness

Demi Lovato fights for mental health reform
Mental illness is one sick, insidious and painful disease. It forges a mighty path of destruction and leaves devastation in its wake. It doesn't care about the people it takes down or about the amount of lives it affects.

And what's even sadder is society's perception of it all. Thankfully, things are finally beginning to change for the better, but we've still got quite a long way to go as a culture. Luckily, celebrities like Demi Lovato are speaking out. The singer recently took the fight all the way to Capitol Hill, where she continued her crusade for mental health reform. She was there on behalf of the Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiative and spoke to legislators at the National Council for Behavioral Health's Hill Day...

"I think it's important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It's something that's extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic," she told PEOPLE magazine. "The problem with mental illness is people don't look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously."

It's SO important to keep this sort of positive dialogue going, and it's so refreshing to see Demi step up and be that voice of change. Here's someone who can envision a brighter, more understanding future -- someone who isn't the least bit afraid to be open and honest about her past struggles. I've always felt a sort of kinship with Demi. We were both in the hospital around the same time in 2010 and I appreciated that she didn't hide or cite "exhaustion" as the reason for her hospitalization like some celebrities do. I think it helped open a lot of eyes and ears, even back then, and she's been working hard ever since -- both of her recovery and outreach efforts!

Although I may not have the same platform that she does, I work very hard to stomp out those mental illness stereotypes on So About What I Said. It's something I take very seriously, and even before my own struggles, it was never something I took lightly. It's too important of an issue to just gently sweep under the rug and pretend like it doesn't exist.
Because it does exist. All over the world. In our own backyards. It could be your mother, your sister, your boss, your best friend. Sadly, mental illness doesn't discriminate, which is why it's so important to NEVER back down and ALWAYS fight back. I hope you'll join us in this fight, and remember, never be afraid to share your story! xoxo

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"Boy, I'm calling dibs...On your hand...On your heart...All mine..." --Kelsea Ballerini

[Photos via That Kind of Woman]

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

MEMO TO MEN: If Dating Is Like Blogging...

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: The link between dating and blogging
DATE: October 6th, 2015
...I'm going to be as suave and smooth as Joey Tribbiani from Friends! I'm serious when I say this, boys, because if there's one thing I'm good at, it's studying something and then practicing and practicing until I've mastered it. Just ask my high school self, who sat for hours at a small dining room table hunched over a chemistry textbook furiously scribbling theorems and equations and symbols. The end of the school year came and I got my report card. Killed it, NBD.

But enough about the past. I've been thinking about dating -- as I'm prone to do -- and a sort of revelation hit me: Dating seems a lot like blogging. You know, it seems like the same type of dance, only you're dancing with another person instead of awkwardly alone in the corner hoping someone will ask you to dance for the slow numbers. Not that I know about that from personal experience or anything.

Don't believe me, boys? Just hear me out on this one for a minute. Dating can be messy; blogging is all about rolling your sleeves up and digging into all that loopy HTML business. Dating requires you to put your best face forward; blogging requires a solid brand. Dating involves meeting a lot of frogs (sorry, boys!); blogging is about making mistakes and then learning from them. And of course, there are a few more similarities. These are my favorites, so I thought it only appropriate to expand on them for you -- you know, all in the name of education and bettering ourselves, which, fittingly, is another thing dating and blogging have in common. OK, when it comes to blogging...

You have to be honest
It's sort of like the buffet at Golden Corral -- you have to build your meal around the hearty stuff, like your meats and potatoes. The light fare -- think salads -- is good, but it can't be the foundation. Nothing can subsist on that. Your blog has to be built on honesty, and if it's not, people will be able to see right through it. They'll appreciate your vulnerability, watching you peel back layer after layer as you slowly reveal your true self to them. Trust me, it's such a beautiful thing. It just might be the most beautiful thing in the world.

You gotta bring the funny
Make like Tiny Fey and make 'em laugh. I guarantee you that's the surefire way to their heart. A hearty chuckle is a wondrous gift to give someone, and if you think about it, it's really the gift that keeps on giving. It can bring someone out of a bad day or give someone a little bit of hope. After all, no one can be serious all the time -- what kind of depressing world would that be? My gosh, you'd probably start to feel like you were drowning!

You must be committed
This is a BIG one for me, admittedly both in life and love. Like I said in the beginning of this post, when I commit to something, I grab onto it with everything I've got. Not in an obsessive, stalker-y way, mind you, just with a steadfast, determined attitude. When I commit, I'm all in and it's for the long-haul. With me, it's all or nothing. We're going all the way -- and no, I'm not talking about bedroom behavior here.
Something tells me that dating is A LOT like this! Am I right, boys? I'm sure that you'll have plenty of time to tell me ALL about it someday. We can wax poetic over a candlelit dinner as I sip a Barq's root beer and get all sorts of honest and vulnerable. But watch out for the laughs because they're coming too! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

Etsy Love: Vintage Cherub Figurines

I'm in love with tiny cherub figurines, aren't you? This English cherub, above, even looks like he's winking. Here's some more adorableness, in case you're still not convinced...
Porcelain cherubs
Cupid cherub
French cherub dish
Golden ceramic angels
Brass cherub angels
Pewter cherub figurine

It's the little things... literally! xoxo

P.S. Stay tuned for a new MEMO TO MEN! :)

Monday, October 05, 2015

Anti-Bullying Challenge: Make Someone Smile Today!

How To Stop Bullying
Sadly, we've all dealt with bullies in one form or another. When we're young, it's usually the kid on the playground or the mean girl in algebra class. As adults, these mean-spirited people can take the form of co-workers and the random Internet commenter -- I see you, Anonymous!

It's no fun to be on the receiving end of such hate. We all know this. But what we sometimes forget? What's most important is how we react in these situations. Sure, our first instinct might be to "fight fire with fire," as it were, but it won't make us feel better or solve the problem; all we'll be doing is sinking down to the bully's low, low level. And that won't get anyone anywhere.

So, on World Day of Bullying Prevention, let's all do something different. Let's change the conversation and spread some much-needed positivity. To get us started, here are 10 ways you can make someone smile...

1. Give someone a compliment: You'd be surprised at what a seemingly little vote of confidence can do.

2. Take your best friend to the movies: Ahhh, there's nothing like enjoying a movie with a fresh box of Junior Mints.

3. Treat your mom to lunch: It's amazing just how happy my mom gets from a simple lunch from Subway.

4. Volunteer at a homeless shelter: Every month, my family contributes a dish for dinner at our local homeless shelter.

5. Cookies, cookies, cookies: I've said before, but cookies make everyone happy.

6. Send someone a card: No one sends snail mail anymore, so why not surprise a loved with with a cute card?

7. Visit a children's hospital: Trust me, days in the hospital can seem endless sometimes. Breaking up the monotony would surely brighten a child's day.

8. Give someone a hand: See someone struggling with a huge stack of library books? See someone drop something? They'll more than appreciate your kind gesture.

9. Spend some time with the elderly: When I was in middle school, I belonged to Grandparents Club. Every week, we'd visit residents in a senior living community. We all loved getting together and you could tell how happy it made everyone.

10. Tell your family how much you love them: Saying those three words never goes out of style and it's such a nice way to make their day. It's SO important to let the people in your life know just what they mean to you.

What do you think of this list, friends? What have you done lately that has made someone smile? What has someone done for you? Anything you'd add to the list? Get out there and spread the positivity!! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

Found: Rainbow Brite Accessories!

Rainbow Brite accessories
Everyone's favorite color-clad '80s chic is back! I couldn't resist posting these fun Rainbow Brite accessories from online retro shop TruffleShuffle. My favorites from the collection: Grey tee, lounge pants, mug, charm bracelet and lunchbox (yes, I would totally use it; a girl's got to stay fashionable!).

Needless to say, I was pretty obsessed with Rainbow (yes, we're on a first-name basis...) back in the day. Even back then, I was all about the loud, bright colors. Go figure... xoxo

P.S. More '80s goodness! :)

Sponsor Spotlight: Cardigans Every Woman Should Have For Fall...

Fall is the perfect time to wear your favorite cardigans. After all, it's not cold enough for a heavy winter coat, but it's not hot enough to walk around in a tank top either. It's the ideal weather for wearing a cardigan. They are a nice layering piece with dresses, skirts, jeans or pixie pants. Not only are they cute and perfect for all your fall adventures. Try these cardigan ideas from NyFifth to feel like a fashion queen!
nyfifth-open-front-cardiganDress it Down -- Open Front Cardigan
Cardigans are perfect for an easy casual look. You can use Port Authority Ladies Open Front Cardigan to cover up this Bella Ladies' TriBlend Short-Sleeve Deep V-Neck Tee for school or at the office. Match it with a pair of boyfriend jeans and some sneakers for a casual shopping or travel look. This is an easy, relaxed look that anyone can pull off. There's also a similar style like this Edwards Garment Women's Open Front Cardigan.
nyfifth-lilac-bloom-cardigan-sweaterDress It Up -- Claire Cable Cardigan Sweater
Use this Lilac Bloom Claire Cable Cardigan Sweater to cover a Bella + Canvas Ladies' Vintage Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress or add to a flower skirt. This cable cardigan is available in black, charcoal, deep navy and latte colors -- so versatile that you can wear either with almost anything. It'll look better with a simple pendant and cowboy boots.
nyfifth-lilac-bloom-Elizabeth-women-boyfriend-cardigan-sweaterSmall Bust -- Elizabeth Boyfriend Cardigan
It you have a small bust, this Lilac Bloom Elizabeth Boyfriend Cardigan adds a little bulk without being too obvious. The length is long enough to cover your bust. It is made of 75% rayon/16% nylon /9% metallic, featuring rib-knit trim, coordinating metal buttons and two pockets. Are you ready to choose from black, metallic gold and metallic silver? nyfifth-port-autority-ladies-concept-cardigannyfifth-lilac-bloom-isabella-cardigan-sweater
Choose The Right Neckline -- V-Neck & Scoop Neck Cardigan

V-Neck cardigans look best with square or straight necklines underneath. If your cardigan is scoop neck, pair it with a scoop-neck top. You are free to choose from the following styles:

*Embody classiness with this elegant and professional Lilac Bloom Isabella Cardigan Sweater! The Isabella features delicate stitching and is accented with color-toned buttons for a polished and chic look. Wear a pendant necklace to show it through the v-neck design.

nyfifth-edwards-garment-cardigan-twin-setnyfifth-port-authority-ladies-jewel-neck-cardigan*A piece your wardrobe should not be without: a soft, versatile cardigan to layer with a favorite tee or tank. This Port Authority Ladies Concept Cardigan has a wide hem and cuffs for a streamlined look.Extra durable and extra comfortable, this Port Authority Ladies Value Jewel-Neck Cardigan has a flattering neckline which lends professional style to any work uniform.

*Corporate performance twinset - Edwards Garment Cardigan Twin Set. A classic duo with jewel necklines, this cotton/acrylic blend offers softness and durability. A smooth and easy drape, this twinset is versatile. Wear it as one piece or as separates. Great for the office or front desk associate, it embroiders well.

Now that you have some solid cardigan tips, how will you wear your next cardigan? Leave me a comment describing your favorite cardigan and how you like to wear it.

Man Candy Monday.

Welcome to Monday morning, friends! How was your weekend? I know I think this every Monday, but where did the last two days go? To cheer myself up, don't mind if I continue with my celebration of the men of Grey's Anatomy -- there are an unbelievable amount of intriguing doctors on that show, aren't there? Today's guy is known for being a bit steamy. He seduces with those eyes. And he certainly makes my heart race...

ERIC DANE!!!!!!!!!!

Eric Dane Man Candy

Eric Dane Man Candy

Eric Dane Man Candy

Eric Dane Man Candy

Eric Dane Man Candy
"I go eat a sandwich for lunch and have a milk shake and miss going to the gym for 10 days, and somebody snaps a picture of me on the beach, and all of a sudden, I've lost it. Why do I need to be perfect all the time?"

Friday, October 02, 2015

Have a gorgeous fall weekend

Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to the weekend! What have you got planned? The leaves are really starting to change color and the weather is getting cooler -- it looks like fall is officially here! We're also 10 years late to the party but are totally hooked on this show. We can easily watch two episodes every night. IT'S. SO. GOOD. Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

Rare photos from Charles and Diana's wedding.

Excited to see what Blake Lively does next.

Did you catch last weekend's super blood moon?

What an incredibly powerful love story.

IKEA has had its first fashion show!

"My Quest to Become Friends with Taylor Swift."

Are you left-handed?

Great round-up of money saving tips and tricks!

10 secretly scary facts about Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Don't you miss these after-school rituals?

How romantic is this Monopoly proposal?

Oreo has released new limited edition flavors...will you try them?

Looking for a new podcast?

I can totally relate to this list of annoyances.

10 Truths Only a Homebody Understands.

ABC just picked up a new show from Shonda Rhimes!

OMG, Halloween costumes based on Taylor Swift lyrics.

Can you match the iconic costume to the quote?

HA! If The Muppets worked in an ad agency.

Uh-oh, there's a "Yelp for people" app launching soon. Thoughts?

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube! See you there!
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