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Month: October 2017

Where in the Bloody Hell Did Halloween Come From?

 

Tomorrow, people all over the nation and the world will disguise themselves and walk around their neighborhoods begging strangers for candy. Seems legit.

I was raised in a very religious household, and never celebrated Halloween growing up. It makes me wonder where this bizarre holiday and its traditions came from, and how it became what it is today.



I did some research, and I have to say, it was fascinating. I decided to be a doll and share the most interesting points in a post, in honor of the holiday. Happy Halloween!

 

Origins

Like most holidays, the origins of Halloween are rooted in pagan customs. It seems that Halloween began in Celtic Ireland some 2,000 years ago. Back then, it was not called Halloween, it was called Samhain, which means November, or summer’s end. The Celts had four major festivals each year, and Samhain was their autumn festival.

 

 

One thing that makes the Celtic calendar much different from ours is that the Celts believed that days and years began in darkness and transitioned into lightness.

This is why their new year began in the winter. It began in the darker months, and progressed lighter into spring and summer. So November 1 is the Celtic New Year. Celebrations began at sunset the night before, which is October 31.

The Celts were very cautious of transitions, believing that during these times the normal laws of the universe did not apply. The World Book Encyclopedia states: “The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living…During Samhain, the living could visit with the dead.”

With November 1 marking the New Year, the Celts thought the transition between the old year and the New Year opened the boundaries of the “Otherworld.” Spirit creatures would be able to roam the earth freely during this transition.

 

Influences on Samhain

When the Romans conquered most of the Celtic lands, they began to bring some of their traditions into the mix. There are two major Roman festivals that were eventually incorporated into Samhain.

The first was the festival of Feralia, which was near the end of October. This festival honored the passing of the dead. The second was the festival to Pomona, the god of fruit and trees.

 

 

The apple was the symbol of Pomona. Interestingly, since the Irish festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest, apples were already a big part of that. In fact, it was required that all of the apples had to be picked before the festivities of Samhain could begin on the night of October 31. So it made sense for the conquering Romans to elevate apples into the festival.

Despite Roman opposition, even after they were conquered, the Celts kept celebrating Samhain. In the 7th century, Pope Gregory III declared that November 1 would be All Saints Day, or all Hallows Day. Previously All Saints Day had been in May. This move was likely to merge Christian and pagan beliefs, thus converting more pagans to Christianity.

The evening before became All Hallows Eve, which eventually came to be called Halloween.

 

How Common Traditions Began

There are so many interesting traditions associated with Halloween, and let me tell you, their origins are not boring. I picked out four of the best (in my humble opinion) Halloween traditions, and found out how they began.

 

Costumes:

As I mentioned, it was believed by the Celts that spirit creatures could roam freely on Samhain. Some people even left their doors opened and placed food out for the spirits of their loved ones to welcome them home.

 

 

However, it was also thought that some of these spirits were looking for bodies to inhabit, or wanted to harm people they were angry at in their lives on earth.

To protect themselves, the Celts disguised themselves in various costumes, their version of demons, often incorporating animal heads. The purpose was to confuse the evil spirits, and trick them into thinking the humans were also demons. It was a defense mechanism to protect the living.

As time passed and Christianity began to exert more influence over the holiday, the Catholic Church encouraged dressing up as angels, saints, and other heavenly creatures. Eventually, it became acceptable to dress up as anything you wanted, as long as it was a disguise.

 

Jack O’ Lanterns:

I’ve always wondered why we carve strange faces into pumpkins in the days approaching October 31. Again, this tradition is rooted in Irish history.

 

 

The Celts had a myth about a man called Stingy Jack. He was a blacksmith and a drunk, and one night he ran into the Devil in a pub.

He invited the Devil for a drink. However, being “stingy,” he did not want to pay for his drink. He managed to convince the Devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for their drinks, in exchange for Jack’s soul.

 

 

However, when the Devil complied, Jack changed his mind and pocketed the coin. Jack had a silver cross in his pocket next to the coin, which prevented the Devil from freeing himself. He only agreed to set the Devil free on the promise that the Devil would leave him and his soul alone for 10 years. The Devil complied.

After the passing of 10 years, Jack again encountered the Devil, this time on a country road. The Devil was eager to claim what was owed to him. However, Jack ended up tricking the Devil again, convincing him to climb a tree to grab a luscious apple as a last meal for Jack to enjoy before having his soul claimed.

When the Devil did so, Jack quickly carved a cross into the trunk of the tree, trapping the Devil again. He made the Devil promise to never try to claim his soul again. Having no choice, the Devil again complied, and was freed by Jack.

The story doesn’t end there for Stingy Jack. When he died, God wanted nothing to do with the deceiver, and barred him from entering Heaven. To top it off, the Devil was pissed and didn’t want Jack in Hell either. Confused and distraught, Jack asked the Devil what he was supposed to do. The Devil told him to go back where he came from.

The way was very dark, so the Devil, in an undeserved act of decency, tossed Jack a piece of coal from hell. Jack placed the coal into a carved turnip to light his way.

 

Stingy Jack | How To Carve The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern [Infographic])

Image via Jovan-Ukropina Deviant Art

 

From then on, he was no longer called Stingy Jack. Instead, they called him Jack of the Lantern. It is said that he still roams the earth with his turnip lantern.

Tradition meant the Irish would carve creepy faces into turnips and place them in windows to scare away Stingy Jack and the other unsavory souls that roamed the earth on Samhain. Later, after the Irish immigrated to America, pumpkins became the more accepted vegetable for this purpose.

 

Bobbing for Apples:

While the apple has always had a large part in the origins of Halloween, the tradition of bobbing for apples actually came from Britain, and extended to Ireland. It was known as a courting ritual. The first young lady to bite an apple would be the first to marry, it was believed.

 

Courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org

 

The game was eventually all but forgotten, until Americans decided to incorporate it into modern Halloween festivities.

There was also a superstition that if a girl put her bitten apple under her pillow before she fell asleep, she would see her future husband in her dreams.

 

Trick or Treating:

There are differing opinions about the origins of trick or treating.

One theory asserts that it began in medieval times. Poor adults and their children would go door to door on All Hallows Eve and offer to say prayers and sing songs for the recently departed souls of that family. In exchange, the family would give food or beer to the poor family as a token of appreciation.

 

 

Another theory is that because All Hallows Eve became known for pranks, the term “Trick or Treat” was coined to offer kids an alternative to playing pranks, a sort of bribe. The here-are-some-treats-don’t-TP-my-yard-please kind of bribe.

Wherever trick or treating originated from, it became an integral part of Halloween festivities after the Great Depression. Children began going to homes dressed in costumes asking for candy, and it stuck.

 

Halloween Today

Today, Halloween is celebrated all over the world. Kids love to dress up and roam the neighborhoods filling bags or buckets with as much candy as they can. For adults, like many other American holidays, Halloween has become an excuse to gather, eat, drink, and party. We even dress up our animals!

 

 

This festival meant a lot people 2,000 years ago. It may not mean the same thing to us today, but Halloween is a great example of the way ancient festivals and traditions from different cultures have collided and morphed into modern day celebrations.

So when you celebrate tomorrow, stop for a moment to think about how humans have been taking part in similar festivals basically since the beginning of our species.

We continue to grow and change as time goes by, which begs the question: What will Halloween will look like 2,000 years in the future?

 

Be safe and have fun!

 

 

 

The information in this post was taken from several different resources, including:

Irishgeneologytoolkit.com

Albany.edu

JW.org

History.com

Hauntedbay.com

Smithsonianmag.com

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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What’s REALLY in My Purse?

Hello Broads! I’ve been perusing loads of different lifestyle blogs lately, sizing up my competition, seeing what others in my niche are up to, and getting idea for posts.

I’ve noticed a lot of lifestyle and fashion bloggers like to share what’s in their purse. How fun! I’m a naturally sort of nosy person, so a peek into another woman’s handbag seems like great fun to me.

 



 

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I kept seeing pictures of brand new purses, with beautiful items lined up neatly. Like this:

 

 

Or this:

 

 

Where’s the lint, the gum wrappers, and the pony tail holders? Where’s the real stuff? Many of these posts are incredibly staged. It’s almost as if some of these bloggers went and bought a new purse, and then filled it with brand new stuff, and are passing it off as their “everyday” bag.

It made me feel inadequate. For a minute. Until I realized, if I’m annoyed at how artificial many of these posts are, and if I’m feeling inadequate, there has to be a lot of other women feeling the same way. Why is it so hard to find a realistic “What’s in my purse?” blog post.

Eff it. I’ll do it myself. Would you like to know what’s ACTUALLY in my purse? Well, you’re going to find out right now.

 

First, here is my purse:

 

 

One thing you’ll notice is it’s white. I almost NEVER own anything white as a rule, because I’m just dirty. Everything I’ve ever had that started out white ends up the color of dirty dishwater.

Incidentally, this purse was given to me by a friend (Thanks Alek!). She brought it to a garage sale I was having right before I moved to Flagstaff. Honestly, the reason I kept it was because 1) I really needed a new purse and didn’t have money for one, and 2) there was a price tag on it for almost $250, so it made me feel wealthy. Those two points trumped my no white rule, and I promptly dumped everything out of my old dirty ripped blue purse that I had been using for two years, straight into the shiny white beautiful handbag.

As you can see, it’s not shiny anymore. It’s beginning to look less stellar than it did when I first began using it. It’s fading, and has at least one pen mark on it.

 

 

 

So now, on to the contents!

Instead of lining everything up and placing it strategically around the mouth of the purse to create a perfect shot, I just turned the damn thing upside down and let everything free fall.

So this is what my purse contents really look like when they’re dumped onto a desk. Be careful! It’s uncensored! There is probably even lint, so you may want to cover your eyes. Heaven forbid something in a photo on a blog look like it’s actually used in real life! Here it is:

 

 

Ok, so one thing I quickly realized as I analyzed the contents is that there is a lot of crap in here that doesn’t need to be in here. I could use this moment as an opportunity to reorganize and clean out my purse. But I won’t. Because I just don’t feel like it.

Yes, I’m a 33 year old woman with a fluffy cat hand sanitzer hooked to my purse where everyone can see. It clashes with most everything I wear. But guess what? I like it. So sue me.

 

 

My poor wallet is fading into oblivion, but it’s a Hobo, and I don’t ever get rid of things that I pay close to $100 for, because in my opinion, for that price, they should last for eternity.

There’s a bunch of crumpled papers. They must be important.

Ooo there’s my favorite lip gloss that I got in an Ipsy bag. It smells like candy!

I carry my makeup remover wipes with me because sometimes I forget to wash my face. Or shower.

There’s also my deodorant, with the label steadily detaching itself from the tube. I keep it in my purse for the same reasons as the makeup remover wipes.

That Mentos gum is empty, but I’m a hoarder of small containers so it’s still in there.

A couple of pair of gloves are always stuffed in the bottom because I’m not used to the cold fall weather here in Northern Arizona. Eww, that brush looks REALLY dirty right now.

There’s some nose drops because I constantly have dry nose here in the desert.  Oh and a fake ring that doesn’t fit.

Hey, there’s the mouthpiece to my water bottle! I have been wondering where that went!

 

There’s an old Ipsy bag. Let’s see what’s in there:

 

 

Vitamins, ibuprofen, homeopathic stress relieving throat spray. Cool. I should use that stuff.

 

Last and definitely least, this clippy thing:

 

 

So there you have it. That’s my purse. I guess I’ve just blown the lid off my façade of perfection.

I actually learned a couple of things from this exercise. 1) I think I need to shower more. 2) I’m not very organized. 3) I could carry a MUCH smaller purse, because I hardly use any of the crap in there.

That’s a real girl’s purse people! Hope you can relate.

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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Six Reasons Why Space in a Relationship is Not Bad, it’s RAD

I was married exactly one week after I turned 20 years old. Tying the knot felt like such an adult thing to do.

I’m not going to lie, I felt like a badass in my wedding dress. It was a classy, sexy, crisp white, A-line gown my grandmother purchased for $99 online, and it made me look like a woman.



Underneath all the beading and tulle, I was scared shitless. It felt like I was pulling one over on everyone. I was terrified that at any moment everyone would discover that I was a phony who had no idea what the hell I was doing.

I was a little girl trying to pass herself off as a woman.

Both of us were so YOUNG. Husband #1 (his nickname, even though I’ve only been married once) was only two weeks older than me. We weren’t even old enough to legally drink. We were babies.

 

 

Lucky for me,  Husband #1 had been my best friend for years. I leaned heavily on him for support and to help me overcome my inner fears and feelings of inadequacy.

As a result, our relationship became extremely close. We knew each other better than we knew ourselves, to the umpteenth degree. In our household, number ones AND number twos were committed with the bathroom door open. There was no such thing as guy’s nights or girl’s nights, only couples’ nights. We were a package deal.

Husband #1 and I didn’t understand the concept of individuality within a relationship. We almost NEVER had space from each other. In fact, we viewed giving each other space as something negative. In our minds, the lack of space in our relationship was definitive proof of our connectedness. I remember pitying couples around us who did give each other room to breathe. I thought, “Those couples just don’t have the same chemistry and deep love for one another that we have.”

Boy, I couldn’t have been more of a dumbass.

 

 

Time is the great instructor, and as it passes it teaches us a whole lot about ourselves. It took me years to learn this, but space can be one of the very best gifts you can give to your partner and yourself.

Take a note from the experts. “In many cases,”  says Steve Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers, “a little space will give them [your partner] time to refocus and see that it’s up to themselves, not their partners, to create personal satisfaction and happiness.”  Christopher Knippers is the author of Cultivating Confidence.  He mentions, “When two people assume all their needs are going to be fulfilled through each other, the relationship is set up for disappointment, and ultimately failure.”

The success of your relationship is partly dependent on setting and respecting each other’s boundaries. There are a shit ton of advantages you will discover when you learn to start giving your partner space.

These are the six most awesome benefits I have discovered in my own relationship:

 

It Gives You the Chance to Miss Each Other

Remember when we were kids and we would spend a few days over the summer at a friend’s house? By the end of it, I was so effing sick of that friend, I never wanted to see them again. However, after a little time apart, I would forget why I was annoyed in the first place. I missed my friend, and I was ready to dive back in headfirst.

Not much changes as an adult. Especially in relationships, when you get too close, you start to hate each other’s guts. You know those cute little quirks you love about each other? Not so much anymore. You want to take those quirks and shove them up your partner’s patootie!

But what if you give your partner some space? In my experience, when I get some time away from Mr. OG, I miss him like crazy. When I get to be around him after a little space, we have so much to talk about, and we feel content to be near each other, instead of burned out.

 

 

It reminds me of when we were first dating. We could have hours long conversations, wanting to know as much about each other as possible. Nowadays, after getting some time apart, we do the same thing. We have so much more to converse about. Besides, think about it:  Most people in serious relationships live together. Is it really that bad to give each other some space?

 

It Helps Build Trust With Each Other

As I mentioned earlier, many people make the mistake of thinking lack of space is a sign of connectedness. However, I’ve found that when I am REALLY honest with myself, usually this is just a way to disguise real issues in the relationship.

It’s not always true, but extreme closeness between partners can be a sign of insecurity in a relationship. If you can’t allow your guy to go have a beer with his bros without texting 27 times to make sure he isn’t doing anything bad, that says a lot about the level of trust you and your partner have with one another.

Giving space to your partner gives them a chance to show you they are loyal to you. I was so young when I married Husband #1. I didn’t have anything to compare our relationship to, other than my own parents’ marriage, and they were divorced when I was 11. I was winging it.

Let me tell you, I wasn’t doing a very good job. I would go through his phone when he was asleep. I was the chick who called and texted a zillion times when we were apart. I was SO insecure. It did NOTHING to better our relationship, and in fact created a whole lot of unnecessary tension.

 

 

Nowadays, Mr. OG always tells me with a wink, “I already have a crazy woman to deal with. Why would I spend guy time looking for another one?” It’s good for a laugh, but it has some truth to it.

Unless you happen to be going through life with a real asshole, most guys don’t want to spend their “guy time” thinking about another woman. They don’t want to think about you, their sister, their mom, their grandma, or any other woman in the world. Guy time is an opportunity for your man to scratch his balls freely, drink too much beer, grunt, fart, and generally act like a prepubescent teenager.

Giving him that opportunity without a guilt trip attached is assigning honor to your man. You are telling him that you love and trust him, and that you want him to have some fun on HIS terms. This is one of the best ways to make your guy feel respected. It is something he needs to do for you as well. Demand it ladies! If you’re giving this to him, make sure you are getting it back from him, or that’s a case for a huge amount of resentment.

 

It Prevents Unnecessary Fights 

Everybody fights. If a couple doesn’t fight, I’ve always thought, one of them is lying. There is no way you can spend a whole lifetime, or even just a few months with a person and agree on EVERYTHING.

 

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve gotten in an hours-long all out rager with Husband #1 or Mr. OG, and I think, “If I’d just have walked away earlier this damn fight wouldn’t have happened!” There are so many arguments that can be prevented by giving each other a little space to think.

The most unacceptable behaviors that come out during big brawls are simply natural defense mechanisms we create to protect ourselves when we feel cornered. Like an animal, humans tend to lash out at their partners when they feel trapped; it’s the “fight” part of our “fight or flight” instinct.

Giving space when tensions are rising offers both you and your partner the chance to calm down, organize your thoughts, and even put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Oh, and it gives your Mister the time to think of a really good apology, because we are always right ladies, am I right???

 

It Affords You the Opportunity to “Do You”  

Space in your relationship gives you time to pursue individual interests. It is very common for people, especially women, to lose themselves in a relationship. Often a person will set aside their goals, aspirations, dreams, and even hobbies, for the sake of the relationship. We have all done it.  The crazy thing is, most of the time, it ‘s completely unnecessary. In fact, many women take this step without their partner demanding it, or even hinting at it.

Really, the only time it makes sense to give up these interests is if your partner is terminally ill and you are their caregiver 24 hours a day. Even then, you still need personal time.

Ladies, we need to stop putting ourselves on the back burner! We really CAN have our cake and eat it too when it comes to being in a relationship and staying true to ourselves. So take some time to pursue those hobbies you set aside, or to learn new ones.

 

 

Read, paint, knit, get a pedicure, learn a new recipe, take a class. DO YOU. Think about it: if we DO find that our partner is not supportive of us being an individual, is that person someone we really want to build our life and future with? That’s a rhetorical question, but you should definitely answer NO to it!

 

 

Giving your Mister some alone time is guaranteed to make him happy. Mr. OG likes to golf. It’s therapeutic for him. Whether alone or with buddies, something about walking the course with a brewski in his hand can change his whole outlook on most things for the better. I don’t text or call him when he golfs. When he comes home, he is so appreciative, he can’t get enough of me. So worth it ladies!

 

It Helps You Reconnect With Your Friends

Have you noticed when a person gets into a comfortable relationship, their social life tends to goes out the window? We have all been on both ends of this kind of situation; either our friend gets a guy/gal and forgets all about us, or we get a partner and our friends are history. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a thing. It happens.

Especially in a new relationship, it’s difficult to not want to be joined at the hip with your new partner. Unfortunately, it’s usually at the expense of everyone else in your life.

However, if you and your partner are practicing giving each other a healthy amount of space, you have a good opportunity to reconnect with your old friends, or to make new ones.

I can’t emphasize enough the value of having close friends of the same sex, ESPECIALLY if you are in a committed relationship. It provides you with people to vent on,  to get advice from, to drink gallons of wine with. What’s bad about that?

 

 

So go do girls night, or guys night. Make some new friends, and remind your old friends why they love you. Showing them a little courtesy and appreciation for sticking around will go a long way.

 

It Makes Sex SO MUCH Better

There are times when sex can become a little dull and routine in long-term relationships. It takes real effort to keep things fresh and exciting.

I’ll admit it, a lot of times I’m just too damn tired to be creative when it comes to sex. There are even times when Mr. OG and I try to get it done during commercial breaks so we don’t miss our shows. What the hell? That’s life.

 

 

However, after we get a little time apart, our sex is much more rewarding. The anticipation itself adds to the excitement and pleasure. We get excited to try new things, we laugh, and we ENJOY ourselves. Instead of sex becoming a burden, it’s more like the icing on our cake of a relationship.

My sex life really changed for the better when I began to apply this principle of giving Mr. OG some extra space. Sex became fun again, and anything BUT routine.

 

The Moral of the Story

Of course, there are times and situations when space can be harmful. If trust has been broken before, it would be prudent to seek guidance from a professional in creating healthy space between you and your partner. This can enable you to respect your partner, but also to protect yourself.

A key point to remember is that it’s all about balance. Sleeping in separate bedrooms at opposite sides of the house may not be the beneficial kind of space your relationship needs. But a regular guys or ladies night, where you don’t text each other for a few hours can be.

I write from my own life experience. While I am no longer married (a story for another time), one thing I can tell you is that when Mr. OG and I make it a priority to create and maintain healthy space between us, it changes our relationship immensely for the better.

Ironically, the less space you give each other, the further apart you grow. If longevity is important to you, and you want to grow old with this person you call a partner, give them a little wiggle room.

Could your relationship benefit from some space? Do an honest self-examination to answer that question. Still not exactly sure? Find out by taking this quick test.

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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Decor For Real

I am always looking for easy and cheap decorating ideas to spruce up my home for each changing season. Here is where I encounter problems. Most of the decorating blogs and websites out there are just not realistic.

Many decorating blogs have an air of pretentiousness to them. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly beautiful ideas on these blogs, which we will call “Those who shall remain unnamed.” It’s not my style to specifically call someone out that I’ve never even met. Besides, these blogs serve a purpose, and there is a reason they are successful. People use them for inspiration.



However, I am real, not fancy, and my house is never going to look like it came straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s just not sustainable for me, nor do I want it to be. I love my gloriously messy and realistic existence.

I recently relocated from Vancouver, Washington to Flagstaff, Arizona. We went from a small two bedroom apartment to a significantly larger three bedroom house. Needless to say, I needed some inspiration. So I spent an afternoon perusing different blogs and studying beautiful pictures, specifically of living rooms, my starting point.

 

 

Photo by Flaunter .com on Unsplash

 

After “Oooing,” and “Aahing,” over the sheer beauty of some of the ideas, I tried to picture if any of these would be realistic for my living situation.

That’s when a few things really began to stand out to me. First, none of the pictures have televisions in them. Most people have a TV set in their living room. My question is, do people with perfect homes just not watch the Tube? Because I have a television in my living room, as well as one in my bedroom. We have another set in my stepson’s bedroom that the kids use to play games on. These televisions get used. A LOT. Why? Because the people in my house LOVE to watch TV.

Check out this chart that shows the number of televisions in the average American home:

 

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Surveys

 

Come on people! I need décor ideas that include my beloved friend, the television set.

Another thing I noticed is that many of the living rooms I was looking at were filled with white furniture. Really? White? I’m a stepparent with two wonderful stepchildren, a boy of 12 and a girl of 10. They are pretty clean kids, relatively speaking. They are not what worries me. Even if I wasn’t a stepmother, I couldn’t trust myself with white furniture. I don’t wear white. I avoid white like the plague.

 

Photo by Stephen Di Donato on Unsplash

 

No matter what my intentions, if I am near something that is a beautiful stark white, or a creamy ivory, or any other hue, tone, or shade that could be referred to as a variation of white, it will not be white for long. I have impeccable aim when it comes to spilling. My spills almost always land on the lightest color and the most stainable surface. It’s almost a talent, really.

Then there is Mr. OG, whose nickname is “The Spiller.” Need I say more?

Lastly, I couldn’t believe the outrageous amount of money certain pieces cost! I will not pay $600 for a coffee table. It’s just not feasible for my lifestyle.

After coming to these realizations, honestly, I was pissed. “Who lives like this?” I kept wondering. Who would want to? Not me. I’m better than that. I’m above all tha…..

….wait a minute. NOW who is being pretentious?

As I began mulling this over, I started to realize that the nature of finding inspiration for décor is to find something you aspire to, a goal. I’m a firm believer in setting goals that may seem impossibly high. Because with hard work, nothing is impossible.

Perhaps I can’t afford the gorgeous blue desk with anchor knobs. But you know what I can afford? That perfectly sized $30 desk at the thrift store that is made of solid, good quality oak. I can also afford sandpaper, and small can of navy blue paint from Walmart.

When I began looking back through the pictures I was so harshly criticizing, I realized that like everything else in life, a few small tweaks are all I need to customize these décor goals to my life.

For example, I can wall mount my television set in the living room. That way it almost becomes a piece of art in of itself. And I don’t ever HAVE to have white furniture. I can go with whatever color I want. That’s called being an adult.

My home will probably never look as good as those pictures. But you know what is missing from those perfect pictures? The warmth. The laughter. The kids and cats and dogs. The funny movies. The unfolded laundry and unscrubbed dishes. The fights and tears. The hugs and kisses. The LIFE. The life is missing from those perfect shots.

I’ll take real life over a perfect snapshot any day.

 

My actual living room (complete with wall-mounted TV!).

 

Have a great day Broads!

 

 

 

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Cheers to REAL!

I love social media.

I love being able to see what my brother in Okinawa is up to. I love checking up on my mom, my sisters and my nephew, who live a few states away in Washington. My dad lives in Oregon, so I also like to keep tabs on how he is doing.

I have friends all over the country and world, and social media keeps us closely connected. It’s so nice to be able to hop on to Facebook or Instagram and see what everyone is doing today. I dig getting recipes, product recommendations, ideas and inspiration for decor, gift-giving, organizing, fashion, beauty and more. What’s not to love?

 


 

A lot, actually. As much as I love social media, I also equally hate it.

I can’t stand when people’s timelines consist of dozens and dozens of selfies, sprinkled with post updates like “Sooooo bored!”  It drives me nuts when I see a post directed at some mysterious person who is unnamed, with vague statements that nobody will understand.  If you aren’t going to explain who the hell you are talking to and what the hell you are talking about, don’t be surprised when nobody gives a crap.

I lose my mind when people post about politics or religion with a narrow world view, and no courtesy or respect for the opinions of others. I want to punch the people who call out anyone and everyone for the tiniest, most insignificant issues, just to make themselves feel bigger. Trolls. Bullies. Keyboard warriors. They hide behind a monitor because they aren’t brave enough to say what they believe in the actual presence of others.

But the thing I hate the ABSOLUTE MOST about social media is how perfect some people try to make their life look. I have never met anyone in person who is as happy and put together as their social media accounts claim. The sad thing is, even knowing that these profiles are not real, it’s easy to start feeling completely inadequate, self-conscious, and unkempt. Often I find myself wondering, as I scroll through my feeds, how the hell so many people seem get it right, when I struggle daily.

As a side point, I am guilty doing all of these things that drive me crazy. I’m as guilty as anyone else.

You know, it seems like the way many of us portray ourselves on social media is quite often the same way we portray ourselves on our resumes and in job interviews.

 

 

Best foot forward. Only the good. We are great, our lives are awesome, and we’ve got this adulting thing down.

 

Here’s the real deal: We all make numerous mistakes every single day.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes life IS easy. Sometimes I actually meal prep for the week on Sunday. Sometimes I get up the first time my alarm goes off. There are some days my hair barely needs to be brushed because it looks THAT GOOD. But these anomalies are the exception, not the rule.

The rule is, life can really effing suck. There are days where  I forget to set my alarm entirely. Days where I realize halfway through work that I’m wearing two different colored flats. Days where I’m amazed that I am able to get myself out of bed, to the office, and back home again without committing a homicide.

It ain’t easy to put on my big girl panties every day and go out and change the world a little at a time. It’s necessary, but certainly not simple.

Sometimes I get so frustrated and beside myself that I just want to scream until no more scream will come out! Some days I do.

 

 

The crazy thing is, as much as the artificial nature of social media drives me batty, I don’t necessarily think it’s BAD that we do this with our profiles.  Maybe our profile is more of a representation of the person we ASPIRE to be, instead of what we actually ARE. There isn’t anything wrong with that, is there? It’s good for us to have goals, to work toward that perfect life.

I just wonder if most people realize that they’re profile isn’t an accurate representation of who they really are. If they don’t, then they likely aren’t actually trying to be like the person they want us all to think they are. Having a goal isn’t enough. If you aren’t working to achieve it, the goal is completely pointless.

I crave honesty and authenticity from others. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the best of people’s lives. But there is this whole other part that I want to see. Unfortunately, it usually remains hidden.

I want to know the hardships, the mistakes, the bad days of my fellow travelers in this thing called life. Not one of us has a perfect life. Isn’t it true that life is wrought with tough times, with wrong decisions and their repercussions, with days that, no matter how hard we try, things just won’t go right? Don’t we all sometimes feel like we are running and running and getting nowhere?

 

 

Why be ashamed? Why not share our crazy with others? Why not seek out the humor in our messed up existence? One thing I know to be true is when I see a glimpse of someone else’s imperfection, it makes me feel more adequate. It reminds me that it’s okay to suck sometimes. It reminds me that I’m real, and so is everyone else.

My goal for this blog is to write about REAL life, in all of its disheveled, confusing, sometimes dirty and unorganized glory. Lucky for me, my own life has so much REAL in it, I’ll most certainly never run out of things to write about.

This blog is a representation of my journey, the things I’ve learned, good or bad, the easy way or the hard way, in my imperfect life. I’ll write about cooking, decorating, losing (or gaining) weight, fashion, parenting, current events, how pissed I am at my guy. I’ll write about whatever the hell I want. You can join the journey and share your experiences along the way. Or you can navigate away from this webpage and never come back. Honestly, I don’t care, because I’m writing this for me, and for those who want to hear about REAL LIFE.

It’s my hope that sharing these things will create an atmosphere where people can feel comfortable in their own skin. Where we can help each other with our problems. Where we can get honest opinions about everything, whether it be political, spiritual, or even just about a product. Let’s just be real here people!

I’m proud to be a bonafide broad who mostly doesn’t get it right. And who knows, maybe sometimes I’ll accidentally achieve that close-to-perfect that we are all aspire toward. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

 

Cheers to REAL Broads!

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!