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Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

My final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our 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!

 

 

 



Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

*A little reminder! This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something through one of these links, we receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for helping us bring home the bacon!*

 

We see it all the time: relationship oversharing on social media. Those perfect couples who constantly post mushy gushy love notes to one another, brag about how awesome they are, and leave the rest of us wondering what in the world is wrong with our own mediocre relationships.

Some days I sit there looking at these posts and just shaking my head. Hells yes I’m jealous! Who doesn’t want gorgeous selfies with their guy, and he actually looks HAPPY to be in the picture?

I have to beg Mr. OG to be in a selfie. Then if I don’t push that shutter button quick enough, I end up with a photo of me looking deliriously happy, next to a blur of the side of Mr. OG’s face, because he’s already bailed. Or I end up looking annoyingly perky next to him looking pissed at the world. Like so:

 

 

The point is, these kinds of overly-exuberant relationship posts can leave some of us feeling inadequate and dejected, because our regular old relationships don’t seem to hold a candle to the perfection we see everyday on our Facebook or Instagram timelines. Are those couples really that much more in-tune than the rest of us? Let’s find out.

 

 

What Oversharing Can Mean for Your Relationship

 

Guess what? Those indefectible couples probably aren’t as blissfully in love as they appear. Research says relationship oversharing on social media may not be the best thing for your partnership. There are many concerns that this type of behavior could be pointing to, and I am going to briefly discuss three of them.

 

Validation:

In an interview with Daily Mail, sexologist Nikki Goldstein points out, “Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.” She goes on to mention that by seeking validation outside of the relationship, you are taking away from the quality of the moments you spend with your partner.

“The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it,” she states. “You see people who will focus so much on taking a ‘relfie’ – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. Couples are taking these photos, straight away putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.”

 

Insecurity:

It isn’t necessarily posting pictures of you and your partner that’s the problem. It’s what you are masking that becomes the issue.

Northwestern University researchers surveyed over 100 couples, and afterward, released a report on the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. They found this: “On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships more visible.”

 

Possessiveness:

Goldstein goes on to mention that how a couple poses in photos, or how they label those photos can bring in an element of ownership. She uses the example of The Bachelorette’s Sam Frost and Sasha Mielczarek, who were constantly posting photos on Instagram of their “perfect” relationship. Sadly, they only lasted 18 months before they split for good.

 

 Source: Sasha Mielczarek’s Facebook.

 

Many of their Instagram photos were labeled “My man,” or “My bae.” Notice also that in the above photos they are displaying quite a lot of forced affection, and you can see that Sasha is almost always holding onto Sam in some way.  These all can be signs of possessiveness, which is never healthy in a relationship.

Goldstein says, “There are a lot of people out there who want to flaunt to their friends and the world that this person is mine.” Do you feel the need to show people that your partner “belongs” to you? That could be a problem.

 

What’s the Meaning?

So, according to the above information, if a couple feels the need to document every moment they spend together on social media, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple has to make themselves look way happier on the internet than they are in real life, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple needs constant reaffirmation from outside sources that their relationship is going well, it might not be a good thing.

Of course, this made me think about celebrities, those people we all follow on social media that look so fulfilled. How about we conduct our own little experiment here? Let’s look at a few examples of celebrities who stay private verses those who overshare  (because I don’t think my friends would like if I started comparing them on this blog).

I warn you, this experiment is EXTREMELY scientific.

 

 

Staying Private

Here is a short list of celebrity couples who have been together for 10 years or more, and who try to keep the nuances of their relationships private, especially on social media:

 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, together since 1988

 

Source: Rita Wilson’s Instagram

 

These two are known for being very private, yet they aren’t afraid to address their bond occasionally. They’ve been through a lot together: she is his second wife, he helped her through a breast cancer diagnosis. They credit honesty and humor as two of the reasons they are still together. They don’t hide their relationship from their social media accounts, but they do post sparingly, and generally the posts are not possessive or showy.

 

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, together since 2004

 

Source: Portia de Rossi’s Instagram

 

One of my favorite things about this couple is how supportive they are of one another. If you check out their social media accounts, you won’t see a lot of mushy posts about their undying love. Instead, you see a few pictures of them on vacation together, or supporting one another’s achievements. They definitely respect each other. You also don’t see them looking possessive or having to declare their undying love constantly for the world to see.

 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, together since 1994

 

Source: Will Smith’s Instagram

 

It’s known the the Smiths have had their ups and downs, but one thing that they have always valued is privacy. While they are willing to answer surface questions about their relationship, they don’t talk about the ins and outs very often. Instead, they opt  to keep that between the two of them. Search through their social media accounts and you aren’t going to see a ton of pictures of them together. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but usually it’s pictures of them with their kids, or small discreet tributes on special days (like their 20 year anniversary).

 

Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn, together since 1983

 

Source: Goldie Hawn’s Instagram

 

I have always loved this couple! For one, like Mr. OG and I, they have never felt the need for a wedding (Goldie was married twice before they got together, and Kurt once). But that doesn’t mean they are any less in love and committed to one another. Their social media accounts are full of fun pictures of them enjoying life, together and apart (I want to be best friends with them, btw). What has been the key to their successful relationship? “Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” Hawn says. “If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.” These two try to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, and instead focus on nurturing their beautiful blended family.

 

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, together since 2007

 

Source: Justin Timberlake’s Instagram

 

These two have been extremely private since their relationship began. They rarely post photos together on their social media accounts. In fact, it’s almost always on a special occasion if they do. When it was leaked that Biel was pregnant in 2014, the two wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumors for some time. Timberlake is known for being very protective of his family. When they do mention one another, it seems to be with great respect and support, something we can all learn from.

 

 

Oversharing

I thought about making a list of couples who overshared on social media and ended up breaking up, but that’s not really fair. We never really know the all of the reasons for a breakup. The point of this article is not to shun posting your relationship on social media. Rather, it’s to caution that too much sharing can be a symptom of problems. So instead, I will mention a few celebrities who are known for oversharing. These celebrities also either can’t seem to make their relationships last, or are often in partnerships that are extremely volatile:

 

Taylor Swift:

 

Source: Taylor Swift’s Instagram

 

Taylor Swift is notoriously guilty of relationship oversharing on social media. Now, that may not have anything to do with her lack of success in long-term relationships, but it certainly doesn’t help. When she dated Calvin Harris, she constantly posted photos of them doing amazing things like vacationing in tropical locations, barbecuing, and riding inflated swans together. It seemed like it was meant to be. Sadly, it wasn’t.

This isn’t the first time Taylor can be accused of oversharing. She seems to be guilty of relationship oversharing with almost every partner she’s been with, including Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Even more, Taylor has a habit of writing songs about her ex boyfriends. Also, she is constantly in disputes with other celebrities (Katy Perry, Kanye West). She has no problem airing her thoughts about said “beefs” on her social media accounts. You’d think she’d learn.

 

Lindsey Lohan:

 

Source: Lindsey Lohan’s Instagram

 

Lindsey Lohan has long been known for her bizarre antics and strange relationships. She has had many a breakup unfold via social media, including recently with Egor Tarabasov. She posted quite a bit of personal information on Instagram. Basically the world was given a play by play of their entire relationship, including alleged physical abuse and infidelity. If that isn’t relationship oversharing, I don’t know what is. Then, to top it off, she got angry at people for commenting negatively about and “butting in” to her relationship. She went out of her way to make a statement (on social media, of course) to ask that people give her privacy. Go figure.

Of course, she has done all the same things in her other past relationships, with Samantha Ronson and Aaron Carter.

 

Kylie Jenner:

 

Source: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram

 

Again, we have a celebrity that can’t stop oversharing! This example is a little different than the previous two, because Kylie doesn’t necessary overshare when it comes to her relationships. She just overshares. This can still put a lot of unnecessary stress on a relationship, though. Of course, it’s to be expected, as she comes from a family that lives constantly in the spotlight. I’m going to inject my personal opinion here (shocker!) and say, Kylie drives me nuts! Almost every single picture she posts is so incredibly posed, it makes me want to puke. She is just trying way too hard to follow in her older sister Kim’s footsteps…..and Khloe’s…..and Kourtney’s…..

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t she look unhappy? That might be because she doesn’t believe in smiling, taking a note from Kim, who says it causes wrinkles. Hmmm….would I rather look like a zombie with no emotions, or have some small wrinkles around my lips and eyes because of happiness? That’s a tough one, and by tough I mean not tough at all. I’ll take happiness with a side of wrinkles please!

The main point is, Kylie seems to struggle in her relationships as well. In fact, don’t all of the Kardashian ladies? If they’d put their phones down for a moment and participate in the reality around them, they might be more successful in their love lives. Of course, they are laughing all the way to the bank, aren’t they?

 

 

The Bottom Line:

This theory behind relationship oversharing on social media clearly isn’t completely scientific. But any person with common sense can see there is a definite correlation between maintaining privacy and having success in your relationship. Of course, there is always the other side of the argument. Some researchers say that posting frequently on social media about your relationship makes you stronger. I personally haven’t seen this in action much, but it’s a valid argument that should be considered. The bottom line is, while oversharing doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a relationship, at times it can mean there is trouble brewing behind the scenes.

“But Amber,” you may be thinking, “I like posting about my partner for my family and friends to see!” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key here is to avoid oversharing, maintain privacy, and stop trying to mask problems.

Many of those couples I mentioned earlier that value privacy still post about their partner on social media. There are a couple of key things to remember about the way  they post. For one, they usually save mushy posts for special occasions. Also, instead of needing to show possession, with a lot of PDA and labeling, healthy couples generally post photos of them and their partner having fun and enjoying life together. Nikki Goldstein (mentioned earlier) gives an example of a couple who posts about their relationship in the right way: social media star Pia Muehlenbeck and her boyfriend Kane Vato.

 

Source: Kane Vato’s Facebook

 

Notice they always seem to be having fun and laughing together. Their photos give us a peek into their relationship, and it doesn’t seem like they are trying reaffirm to everyone that they are SO into each other.

The takeaway here is this: Instead of trying to document every moment of your relationship for your Insta-feed, put that phone down and make some memories. When you do post pictures of you and your partner, stop trying to make all of us believe you are so excessively happy that blue birds follow you around singing all the time. Be honest. Be respectful and supportive. Have fun together, and while doing so,  if you happen to capture a moment of that on camera authentically, by all means, I’d love to see it on my wall.

Just don’t share too much, mmmkay?

 

Talk at ya later!

 

 

 

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!

 

 



 

 

Research for this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4115946/Sexologist-Nikki-Goldstein-says-loved-social-media-sign-relationship-failing.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/couples-social-media-oversharing-facebook-instagram-twitter-relationship-insecurities-experts-nikki-a7530911.html

https://www.elitedaily.com/dating/posting-relationship-means-failing/1752552

http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/news/a7116/over-sharing-social-media-couple-insecure-study/

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/8-reasons-why-happy-couples-rarely-share-their-relationship-statuses-on-social-m.html

 

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

*A little reminder! This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something through one of these links, we receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for helping us bring home the bacon!*

 

Holy macaroni, it’s 2018! It’s time to set our New Year’s resolutions again. What. The. Hell. Every year time seems to flow a little faster. It’s craziness!

Alas, it is what it is, and here we are. We have physically transitioned to 2018. The mental transition, of course, is a little slower (I promise you I’ll be writing 2017 on everything until at LEAST June!).

Many of us have set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions. I know I have! I’m very excited about these changes! But I’m also a bit nervous. Let’s be real here (isn’t that what we do on this blog?). Less than 10% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

 

 

What can we do to increase our chances of ACCOMPLISHING our resolutions? Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate pretty easily into your daily life. These will help you to keep your resolutions important and up front in your mind throughout the whole year, and not just on day one.

 

 

Make a resolution in the first place:

 

 

This may seem like a “duh!” suggestion, but there’s a reason I not only included it, but made it number one.

Less than half of people even set resolutions. You know what you can’t accomplish if you don’t set it? Your New Year’s Resolution. Yep, the first step to accomplishing something is actually deciding you want to accomplish something. It’s so simple…

 

 

Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often:

 

 

The value of writing goals down has long been known by researchers. Here is a great article on The Huffington Post that discusses the benefits of putting your goals in writing.

Basically, if you write your goals down, you are almost 50% more likely to accomplish them. This has to do with you introducing these goals to your brain through thought AND vision. If your brain SEES the goal you’ve been thinking about, it gets the message that you are more serious about what you want.

The more your brain sees this goal, the more the importance of the goal is reaffirmed. So write it down often, and keep visuals in high traffic places in your home, such as by your front door, on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror.

 

 

Set several small goals:

 

 

Remember when Bill Murray taught us about taking baby steps in What About Bob? While Bob took this a little more literally than his psychiatrist intended, there is value in the analogy.

It is much easier to accomplish several smaller, more defined goals than a single big one. So once you decide on your resolution, try to break it down into two or three micro goals that all work toward the bigger purpose. Make sure these are S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

For example, if your resolution for 2018 is to be healthier, try a couple of small goals, like drinking more water, only eating sweets on the weekend, or taking a 20 minute walk every day. Those are much more defined and actionable than a general goal of being more healthy. This also makes it possible for you to measure your success.

Let me give you another example. Here is my resolution for this year:

 

 

I’ve broken my resolution down into three S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m going to go a step further and break each goal down into a couple of smaller steps to make them even more achievable. Notice I also posted them right there on my refrigerator so I see them several times a day.

 

 

Establish a reward for accomplishing your goals:

 

 

Set up a reward for when you accomplish each of your small goals. Let’s go back to our example earlier of being healthier.

Say you set a sub-goal of drinking more water. How about if you drink 8 glasses of water a day, every day for a month, you buy yourself a new water bottle (Enter our January giveaway to win an Infusion Pro water bottle here)? Or if your sub-goal is to walk more, after a month of walking 20 minutes a day, get yourself a nice pedometer.

Reinforcing your goals with a reward system significantly increases your chances of success. One big reason for this is that when you are rewarded, you release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Dopamine helps you to see rewards and work toward them.

Interestingly, anticipating a reward can be just as effective in releasing dopamine as actually getting the reward. This is significant because studies have shown that go-getters release much more dopamine than slackers do.

So reward your accomplishments, because science and shit!

 

 

Don’t go telling everyone:

 

 

Sounds weird, right? I mean, doesn’t telling other people about your goals create accountability? Not so much, according to research.

When we tell a person our goal, they often commend and encourage us for setting the goal. This stimulates something called Social Reality, according to Derek Sivers (Ted X speaker).

Sivers says: “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.” Learn more about this here.

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your goals with anyone. Just make sure if you do, that it’s a person who you have established mutual respect with, and who will help keep you in check.

 

 

The Takeaway

 

As you can see, setting and KEEPING your New Year’s resolution isn’t as easy as just saying you want to improve. If it were that easy, none of us would struggle with keeping our resolutions! No, this is something that will take time and effort. But it will be worth it!

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated! Remember, you wouldn’t be setting the goal in the first place if it wasn’t important. Aren’t all important things in life worth working for? Follow the tips above, and I guarantee you will increase your chances of your New Year’s resolution becoming a box on your life checklist you can finally check off.

 

Now go get ’em guys and gals!

 

 

 

 

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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In My Belly in 30: Zippy ChickParm

 

 

I’m  not one of those people that has time to be completely organic, Paleo, gluten-free, etc. Sometimes, I barely have time to sit down to eat at all. That’s real life for me. Maybe your life looks different. Nothing wrong with that.

The point is, I’m always looking for recipes that are delicious, easy, quick, and not completely horrible for my health.

 



 

When I find one, I add it to my monthly rotation, and I share it with everyone!

Hence, the idea for In My Belly in 30. In order for a recipe to qualify for this series, it has to be able to be cooked in 30 minutes or less, be uncomplicated, and fairly inexpensive, and not horribly unhealthy. Most importantly, it has to be delish!

 

The Dish

The first recipe I’ll share in the In My Belly In 30 series is my Zippy ChickParm. This is a super yummy and easy-to-follow recipe that is sure to please anyone you make it for.

 

So, first things first, we need wine. Today our selection comes from the Provence of the Target Clearance section. It was a whopping $2.99!

 

Get your priorities straight and start with a glass of wine

 

I almost always pour myself a glass of wine before I begin cooking because I am an adult and I can drink wine when I cook if I want to. I also feel like it gets my creative juices flowing. And I tend to pour a splash of wine into almost everything I make. Yea, sometimes my life is awesome!

Now that we have wine in hand, let’s do this!

 

 

Zippy ChickParm

Ingredients:

3 or 4 frozen breaded chicken breasts/tenderloins

24 ounce jar of marinara sauce

2 cups finely shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon white sugar

 

Ingredients for Zippy ChickParm

 

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees:

 

Oven to 425 ° F

 

Spray an 8 by 8 inch glass pan with nonstick coating:

 

8 X 8 glass baking pan

 

3. Pour about 1/4 cup (guessing is fine, exact measurements are unnecessary) of marinara sauce into the 8 X 8 inch pan. Spread evenly with rubber spatula to coat whole bottom of pan:

 

 

 

Gather garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and sugar (yea, I use cheap spices, what you gonna do about it??):

 

 

 

Measure each spice right into the jar with remaining marinara sauce:

 

 

 

Put the lid on the jar and shake very well, about two minutes, to thoroughly mix the spices into the sauce:

 

 

 

Side point: The sugar is important, so don’t skip it. It cuts the acidity from the tomatoes. I always put a teaspoon of sugar in red sauces.

Ok, back to the recipe. Next, place three or four frozen breaded chicken breasts or tenderloins into sauced pan arranging evenly.  I use Tyson brand, which you can get a big bag of at Sam’s Club or Costco. I only use three, because there’s only two of us eating during the week (so that leaves an extra for Mr. OG’s lunch the next day), but four will fit fine:

 

 

 

Pour spiced marinara sauce over chicken breasts:

 

 

 

Spread sauce evenly:

 

 

 

Sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese over sauce. Then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top of Parmesan. Splitting the cheese this way makes sure the Parm doesn’t get really hard on top, and both cheeses melt evenly:

 

 

 

Place dish on center rack of preheated oven:

 

 

 

 

Set timer for 25 minutes:

 

 

At this point, I like to make sure and pour myself a second glass of wine, because it take a lot of sips to get through food prep.

While the timer is going, make your sides. I like to keep it simple. I usually boil some thin spaghetti noodles (use any kind of noodle you like), and simmer some canned or fresh green beans in butter, salt and pepper. Texas toast or garlic bread is a yummy side, too.

After 25 minutes, your ChickParm should look like this:

 

 

 

Yummers!! Serve over the noodles!

 

 

 

There’s your gorgeous Zippy ChickParm! Don’t forget to pour yourself another glass of wine before digging in!

Like I promised, if you followed the instructions correctly, you will have a yummy hot meal in 30 minutes from start to finish! Also, you will likely be a little bit tipsy. What’s bad about that?

Bon Appetit!!

 

 

**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!

 

 

 

**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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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!**

 

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