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IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW: WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO MY 14 YEAR OLD SELF

One day you will wake up and seriously question who you are. You will then realize that life has been a series of choices, and your actions and the people who have walked in and out of your life have moulded you into the person you have become. You will think about every moment that has passed, good or bad. You will think about every missed opportunity, and every gained experience. You will contemplate every fear that manifested itself to become part of your reality, and every failure that broke you down just a little bit further away from the person you someday thought you would become. You will also be reminded of all the barriers you overcame, the ways in which you surprised yourself by experiencing things you never dreamed you ever would, and you will smile over the realization that yo...

BLENDED

Blended Not unlike most parents, my idea of what parenthood was going to be like was flawed at best. I had a strategy in mind (she scoffs), a grand plan in place (she laughs), of how I would parent my kids – whether they be birthed, adopted or married into my life, love rules all and all children shall be raised in the same manner (oh, the bleary view of this misguided woman, I look back and feel for her).  My naivety was driven with good intentions but misguided and mostly just wrong. A lesson I learned (not quickly enough) is that it’s near impossible to raise two individuals the same – my children ensure I get a refresher on this daily.  My step-daughter and son are the lights of my life, I love them equally with all that I have to give (which some days is less than others) but their si...

BELL SLEEVED BEAUTY

Happy November! This month is going to be all about the details, from adding new colors and textures to your wardrobe, and even unexpected embellishments. Right now, I love the voluminous details of sleeves, and you can find this style taking over dresses, sweaters, tops, and blouses! These sleeves add newness to your typical sweaters and tops. You can easily make a statement with your sleeves as they range from bell sleeved to flared, and keep notice of all the fun trims as we transition into autumn. I am wearing an oversized bell sleeved sweater by Michael Lauren, and there are so many ways to style it. It’s ultra soft and has frayed details on the sleeves that I absolutely love. I styled the sweater with a light wash distressed skinny jean and a simple tan bootie. I can’t wa...

ON LOSING YOUR PERSON

On Losing Your “Person” Our idea of a good time was cradling a fifth of cheap vodka on the playground of our elementary school. There’s a bitterness that accompanies the nostalgia. The nostalgia comes in waves— tsunamis—in the wake of his retreat. Every memory washed over with a golden light; was it really that beautiful? The discomfort of our first (and only) kiss still feels so familiar. My lips so briefly on his in a dimly lit basement party, red solo cups absent. They were the first to brush his virgin tongue. We were still so innocent. At sixteen and fourteen, we laughed. It was funny, awkward, and everything a first kiss should have been, but for years now I have wondered what else could have come from that kiss. We began and ended our senior year of high school together. The night b...

ARTWORK: LADIES OF STRAFFORDSHIRE

I’m Karen Vermeulen, an illustrator from Cape Town, South Africa. When I was a little kid I loved picture books and I’ve never outgrown that love. Why should I? I love stories and I love beautiful images. Which is probably why when I do illustrations I can’t help but come up with back stories, character quirks and sometimes even plots. Like these Ladies from Straffordshire. They are a tight group of frenemies and not quite as proper as they appear to be. Lady Hortencia is the perfect lady and wife except for the small fact that she is sleeping with the gardener and likes to flash the staff and then pretend it never happened. Lady Isobella secretly drinks gin out of teacups all day and flirts outrageously with everyone, except her husband… Lady Jacoba likes to judge ...

CHILDBIRTH: A CAUTIONARY TALE

Childbirth: A Cautionary Tale First of all, I do not share this to leave the impression I am particularly tough, because I am not. At least not any tougher than any other mom after she’s had her first baby. I also am not in the business of scaring new or soon to be moms, rest assured the odds of experiencing the following are extremely slim, practically nonexistent. Truthfully, I share this slightly selfishly for cathartic purposes but also to spread awareness of a debilitating condition and to let sufferers know, you are not alone. I had a dream pregnancy. If not for the big belly and the constant stranger comments about that big belly, I wouldn’t have even noticed that perfect babe cooking. And truthfully my labor was pretty easy breezy as well. I walked in half way dilated and rea...

WALKING GETS TOO BORING, WHEN YOU LEARN HOW TO FLY…

Walking gets too boring, when you learn how to fly… How far is too far? Isn’t it wonderful that the modern woman can do about 98% of what our male counterparts can do with twice as much zeal and quadrupled efficiency? Well, I could’ve said 100% but we all know we can neither walk around shirtless neither father our own babies because if we could God knows just how far we would have gone. Just how far is too far in our revolution of women empowerment? Are we becoming too smart? Too beautiful? Too talented? Too strong? Are we becoming a threat to the very essence of feminism? Is our quest for equality more of a selfish claim for attention? Is being a queen proving to be a questionable journey that is becoming unfathomable within humankind? Are we just too much? Well fellow ...

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