Real Images of Beauty

Yesterday was day two of the Keep It Real Challenge in which bloggers were asked to post on why it is important to see real images of beauty in magazines. In true Angela fashion, I didn’t find the time to blog in the midst of working out, helping my husband make a hillbilly air conditioner (don’t ask!), and soaking up some sun in a lazy river. However, like I said before, I think that this challenge is amazing, and I think it’s vital that we start seeing real images of beauty in magazines!

During high school I had a subscription to Fitness Magazine. I remember my mom always asking me why I had these magazines when almost each one of them highlighted how to lose ten pounds fast or how to tone up your problem areas. She always, always told me that I was beautiful just the way I was and that I didn’t need to change anything about myself, but for some crazy reason I believed the magazines over her.

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However, whenever she’d ask me those questions I would respond, “These magazines are meant to make you healthier! See, right here, it says what foods are good for you to eat…and right here, it tells you how to maintain a positive attitude!” Looking back, I do feel confident that these magazines had some good messages and good literature, however, next to a relevant column stating how to feel your best there is a photo of a gorgeous woman…fit, slender, tall, and tan. Then I would become more entwined in how I could make myself more like her, and I didn’t pay attention to the information the article.

That model was very beautiful, I’m sure, but she was not real…as are the models in all the photos today. They are photoshopped, what they portray is unattainable, and I wanted to be like them.

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Key word…wanted (past tense).

Now, after years of turmoil turned to growth, I do believe that real is beautiful. But I don’t want another person to put themselves down after having looked at a magazine that is supposed to promote mind, body, and spirit. I don’t want another person to see a photoshopped model and want to look like that. I don’t want another girl to leaf through a magazine and feel depressed, guilty, and shameful.

If magazines would start putting photos of real models, real people, real girls in their magazines, then what message would that put out? That it’s okay to be yourself. That you don’t need to change yourself, you just need to be your best self.

And most importantly, that real is beautiful. (And YOU are beautiful! –had to slip in a little Friday Affirmation!)

When that day comes…that’s when I’ll renew my subscription!

ang

P.S. On this last day of the Keep It Real Challenge, we are asked to share photos of real beauty through instagram. DO IT! (And use hashtag #KeepItRealChallenge)

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Scatterbrained

I am pretty scatterbrained as of lately. I go through my day, come across something that sparks an interest, make a mental note to blog about it (or update my status, or tweet, or instagram about it), then I go on to the next thing and forget. I thought I’d have more time come summer, but so far it is proving the opposite.

So, since I don’t set aside enough time in the day to write a thoughtful, inspiring blog post, here goes a post of random things that have sparked my interest over the past few days.

First of all, did I say summertime? It’s summer! Summer is totally, without a doubt, my absolute favorite season…time for some sunshine and smiles. I love summer so much that I feel like I should have had a grand countdown to its arrival.

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I said that I didn’t set aside enough time to write thoughtful posts, but that wasn’t completely true. You see, I’ve reignited my addiction to pinterest, which means that my blog-writing time has turned into searching for pretty (or yummy) things that I want to make, but actually don’t have time to make.

I love pinterest and I love the creativity it opens up in me again, but like I said before, there is still a love/hate aspect to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop repinning cute outfits, yummy looking treats, or ideas for my dream home someday. However, you will never see me repin a “workout for your love handles” or a picture of a skinny girl as inspiration. A place where people with common interests to share their ideas and what inspires them is a great invention! However, some of these pins are degrading and aimed at making you feel bad about yourself.

But, I did repin this little gem…

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Word.

Did you know that I love Demi Lovato? Even if you didn’t know that, you probably could assume I loved her based on my background in eating disorder recovery and what she stands for. What an amazing (and real, might I add) role model to have out their in celebrity-land. Her song Skyscraper…pretty sure I could listen to it over and over forever and not get sick of it.

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. 🙂

Did you see she was on the cover of Cosmo? Love that. You know what I didn’t love, though? As I waited in line to pay for my groceries, I picked up this magazine (because this is pretty much the only place where I get any reading done) to try to flip through to see her article. I had to flip quickly because it was almost my turn in line, and I opened the magazine right to the article How to Get a Bangin’ Body For Summer (or something along those lines).

You know I’m all about fitness. I love being active, I love running, and I love anything that will give me a good workout. I love endorphins. However, I don’t love all these things because I think it will give me a “bangin’ body.” I love these things because they make me feel empowered. Confident.

Come on world. Come on magazine peeps. Let’s write an article How to Love Your Already Bangin’ Body that God Gave You This Summer. If I saw that article advertised in the grocery checkout line…I think I’d actually buy the magazine. (Cosmo…if you need someone to freelance write that article for you…)

So speaking of fitness, after taking a week off I went for a run yesterday.

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But today, these shoes were made for walking instead. Yesterday I felt fine for about two miles…and that’s when I should have stopped. The ol’ knee started acting up during the last two miles. I think it’s getting better, but I need to stay off of it a little bit longer. Better be safe than sorry. I’ve been hitting the weights hard, though, and I’m absolutely loving how strong I feel. If I see you in person I will probably have to show your my new guns. 😉

Did you like that last photo? Yeah, I discovered instagram. Love it. Find me, follow me.

Hey guess what? Joplin called. The hubs and I are going to jumpstart our road trip vacation by volunteering with Rebuild Joplin in July! Totally stoked. I hope I get to make my daddy proud and wear a hard hat.

And on that note, I think I’ll go make another cup of delicious coconut mocha coffee.

ang

Happy Birthday Pretty Blog!

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Today marks the first birthday of this little blog! I can’t believe an entire year has gone by since I wrote my very first post, ironically titled Yay! My First Post! I have learned so much about myself, met so many creative and inspiring people, gained so many wonderful opportunities, and done things I never imagined would ever be possible…all because I started writing this little blog!

I want to thank you ALL for continuing to read my rambles, for inspiring me, and for always, always, always supporting me. I always say that to overcome an eating disorder, or any other struggle in life, you need to find your voice…your own voice free of negativities and self-doubt…even if your voice is small and stuffed way down deep in your pinky toes. Grab on to that voice; feed it, nurture it, and love it, and your voice will grow.

I love that voice.

ang

The Week I Didn’t Run, Eat Healthy, Blog, or Even Study Very Much

People have commented and complimented me for keeping up with my running plan and eating well during nursing school. I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. However, if you ask me how I do it…run, study, eat, study, study, study…the truth is, I don’t.

An entire week without running is not something I have experienced since my marathon last August. Instead of finding me on the treadmill or hitting the pavement, last week you would have found me cuddled up on the couch with two blankets, little Tia on the lap, a kleenex stuffed up my nose, and a coffee cup of TheraFlu steaming from the tv tray in front of me.

An entire week without running makes me nervous. What if my endurance is gone? If I’m going to stick to my plan I am going to run my first marathon of 2012 in approximately sixty days. That means I’m going to start seeing 14, 16, 20 mile long runs pretty soon. Um, what?!

I’m going to stick to my plan though. I know if I kick it back into gear again then I will be ready come sixty days from now. Eating healthy on the other hand…that one’s always a little tricky for me.

My plan was the make one healthy change to my diet each week. I totally rocked January adding lots of fruits and veggies, minimizing my soda pop and drinking lots of water. Then I amped up the coffee…then I ran out of fruit…then I ran out of time…then I forgot to make one healthy change…then I got sick (correlation here?!)…then I stopped trying.

So I need some help here. Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to do is just decide what my one healthy change will be. Does anyone have any suggestions other than servings of fruit and veggies? When it comes to what I’m eating I can use all the help I can get! I think for the remainder of this week I’m going to try to get back to where I was at the end of January, and for next week my goal is to simply plan ahead.

Last but not least, this poor little blog…has been…oh so…so neglected. Every now and then I check in just to make sure it hasn’t somehow vanished from the internet. The funny thing is that I actually have thought up quite a few of blog posts that I’d love to write…I just never get to it. What’s even crazier is that this month is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month…and I haven’t posted one time about it. Sad face. I still have a few days left, though, and National Eating Disorders Awareness week is coming right up, which is the anniversary of my discovery of the blog world…so you will hear from me again soon…I promise!

Until next time, keep on keeping on people!

ang

 

 

Woah January

Don’t worry people, somehow I’m still alive. Barely.

Even though somehow my stack of textbooks managed to double in size.

To be completely honest, school is ridiculously overwhelming. I thought the first week was crazy and hard…and since then, each week as gotten even more difficult. And I love it. Even though I’m lacking on sleep, quadrupled my coffee intake, and already studied more than I did in my first time through college combined, I love it.

And somehow January is ending and it’s time to start a new month. That means only three and a half more months until my first semester of nursing school is over.

With the month coming to an end, I wanted to quickly (very quickly since I have a test in fifteen minutes!) go over how great January actually was, even though I’ve been running around like a crazy lady for the past couple weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually made a better eating goal each week. I shared my first, second, and third weekly goals on here (eat breakfast everyday, eat at least three servings of fruit a day, and eat at least three servings of vegetables a day), but I didn’t share my last two. Last week my goal was to incorporate protein in breakfast. Thank you greek yogurt…goal achieved. This week’s goal is to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. This goal, oddly enough, is a little harder to obtain…especially since my recent want and need for coffee. I’m trying here though.

Another New Year’s goal of mine was to cook a new dinner once a month. Once a month may not seem like anything to most everyone else in the world, but for a non-cooker like me with hardly any time, once a month is lofty. I did cook enchiladas a couple weeks ago, and while they weren’t as tasty as when my madre makes them, they were still delicious. And I was pretty darn proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to touch on this little subject of marathon training.

I knew it’d be hard to find the time to run, but aside from studying and spending time with my family, running has been number three on my priority list (sorry blog…right now you’re near the bottom of this list!) So far I’ve been keeping up with the majority of my runs, and I’ve gotten in each and every long run.

In my pile of assignments and to-do lists sits my training plan, all written in pencil since I still change it daily. The month of January I was able to run 114 miles…total success.

Woah January.

ang

Two Thousand and Eleven, It’s Been Lovely

In two thousand and eleven I…

…started a blog! Never before in my life did I have the intention of writing and then sharing my writing with anyone and everyone on the internet. However, I’ve ended up absolutely loving it, and I credit my blog along with other blogs I read for being the fuel behind two thousand and eleven’s greatness!

…started out the year with a four mile race, Love 2 Run, in February. My blog wasn’t born yet so I wasn’t here to tell you about it, but I did PR (it was only the third race I’d ever done before in my life, and the second time in this race) with a time of 35:15.

…ran my first 10K…then my second 10K…then my third 10K…each one with a PR!

…trained my dog to give high-fives.

won a local race! It was a small 5K race…a very very small race, since I won with a stopwatch time of 25:09. Nonetheless I won an awesome trophy, and it was for a super great cause to support a local little girl with osteosarcoma. The same little girl who happens to be my Make-A-Wish wish kid and who is a huge inspiration to anyone who knows her.

…greatly improved my body image.

didn’t get into nursing school.

got into nursing school!

…ran my first half marathon, which happened to be my one really big goal that I wanted to achieve this year! I also had a secret goal of running it in less than two hours…which I also achieved with a time of 1:59.10!

went to Mexico with all my amigos!

…was a blonde for awhile. Literally, not figuratively. Well, maybe both.

…ran my second half marathon and PRed with a time of 1:52.52.

…got my husband to run a 5K with me…and my mom, sister, and stepdad! It was for the Susan G. Komen race in Kansas City, obviously a great cause, especially considering my mom kicked breast cancer’s booty.

…coached middle school volleyball with some of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met!

tried mushrooms…grilled…and liked them.

…raised money for Girls on the Run as a SoleMate!

…ran a marathon. A MARATHON! A ridiculously hilly but beautiful nonetheless twenty-six point two miles all over Kansas City, Missouri, and I loved every single second of it…all four hours and fifteen minutes! I set out the year with hopes of finishing a half marathon…what I didn’t know was that I was going to fall in love with running. Once my half was completed in April I knew I needed more! Never before in my life did I imagine I’d run a marathon, but crossing that finish line was the proudest moment of my life.

This year has been amazing. However, it wouldn’t have been nearly as great had I not walked into the women’s restroom back in February and discovered a little post-it note on the mirror that said, “You are beautiful.” That’s when I discovered Operation Beautiful and the entire world of blogging…a world of inspiration, motivation, and support from some pretty amazing people.

Two thousand and eleven, it’s been lovely.

ang

Happiest Time of the Year Means Time For a Giveaway!

The happiest time of the year is among us, and I wanted to celebrate and show my appreciation for you. I was doing some Christmas shopping over the weekend and I had a great thought. I have shared so much of myself here on this blog over the past several months which has been amazing for me, so I wanted to share some happiness with you!

If you’ve been stopping by this little blog at all for the past few months, you know that I’m a big believer in following your dreams, and I really think that anything is possible. That is why I am so proud of my beautiful mother for starting her own soap business this year. She found something that she loves to do, she made a plan, and she took a risk. I’m extremely happy that she did, because I have probably never smelled better than I do now. This home will never be without a stack of ridiculously delicious soap.

And now, one lucky reader will also get the opportunity to smell magnificent over the holidays because I am giving away a stack of four Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di! I’m warning you though, you will most definitely want to eat the soap they smell that good. I would probably advise against it, even though they are homemade. Yes, homemade! The soaps make excellent stocking stuffers or little gifts, but you’ll probably want to keep them all to yourself!

There are three very easy ways to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment telling me what is making this the happiest time of the year for you!
  2. Like Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di on Facebook and leave a comment telling me  you did!
  3. Purchase a Soap It Up soap online (here) and leave a comment telling me you did…(and tell me which scents you picked because I want to know because I love them ALL!) Leave a comment for each soap you purchase!

You have until the end of Wednesday to enter (you must live in the United States…sorry!), and you must leave a comment for each entry. (I know that many of my family members like to read my blog, and I am really, really grateful for that. However, I know that my family also has easy access to these soaps and probably a stack at home already, so I’m excluding family members from this giveaway!)

Merry Christmas from My Pinky Toes and from Soap It Up!!! Thank you for being a part of my blogging journey so far!

ang

Greatness

When I woke up this morning it seemed like every other morning. I drug my booty out of bed, put on my robe, let the princess outside. I wished that I had woken up earlier, but I felt tired and worn down…from what I have no idea. I went to the bathroom and noticed how dark my eyes look, and although that seems like more of a curse than a blessing, I thanked God for my half italian background. I thought of everything that I wanted to do today, made a schedule in my head, but took no action to start on that list. Instead, I brewed a hot cup of coffee and sat down at my computer.

There is something so comforting about a cup of coffee.

I started on my e-mails and was excited to see I had received one from a friend regarding the latest dinner club gathering. Goodness. I’m so thankful to have such amazing girlfriends in my life right now. Then I read on. The next e-mail was to inform me that I had a new comment on my blog. I read it, and my heart immediately filled with gratitude.

This blogging thing is funny. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. It takes up a lot of time, it makes me feel vulnerable, sometimes it is too hard to think of something to write about, and I think that some people think it is weird. But then I get an e-mail informing me that I have a new comment from someone…and their words fill my heart with joy, and I remember why I write.

And I am grateful for this journey I have taken with my pinky toes.

As my morning continued on, my next stop was Facebook. As I scrolled down the page, catching up on everyones’ public personal lives, there were two things that caught my attention. One was this article being shared, and the second was like song that was posted by a relative I haven’t seen or spoken to in awhile…

And then my whole morning made sense.

I have found this happy place in my life through the blessings of God. He had all this planned…I have this amazing family…husband, mom, dad, sister, stepdad, aunts, uncles, cousins, mamaw, grandmas, and grandpas…because of Him. I have wonderful friends because of Him. I started this blog and have carried on writing through events set in place by Him.  I live an extremely blessed life, and while everything along the way so far hasn’t been all daisies, it has all been worth it. The appreciation and gratitude I feel like morning is pretty unexplainable.

Just Greatness.

ang

P.S. Here’s a Friday affirmation for you:

The Branding of Spa Nova

My poor little blog.

I haven’t taken any time to sit down and write yet this week…for good reason, though. Instead, angheartsdesign has been taking over my life.

I have spent hours upon hours printing, cutting, reprinting, and gluing in order to create the most beautiful menus for a beautiful licensed esthetician.

Way back in the spring I was contacted to create a logo and business card design for an up-and-coming company, Spa Nova. She enjoyed what I created for her so much that I’ve since been asked to make…

…gift certificates…

…address labels…postcards…

…thank you notes…

…and most recently, menus!

I feel so honored to have this wonderful lady trust me with all of her branding, and I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent designing for her. I do feel bad that I have neglected this precious blog, but as soon as I have all her menus shipped (later this afternoon!) I plan on getting back to regular blog programming!

In the meantime, if you live in Missouri or are visiting Missouri, try spending a day devoted to making yourself feel beautiful at Spa Nova and treat yourself to some of her awesome services. I mean, with branding so beautiful, she has to be good, right?! 😉

Also, if you need any design work done for yourself…you know who to call!

ang

Little By Little

I’m finally getting around to posting for today. I still don’t quite feel like I have my writing or running groove back yet, but little by little I’m getting there.

I’m definitely a list kind of person. At one point in time I usually have several lists laying around…or things to do, items to buy, quotes I like, blog topics, ect. Taking into consideration my mood lately, I haven’t been that motivated to get up and get going…to cross things off my lists. However, like yesterday, I know that it is only up to me to get back into the swing of things and get productive.

So it’s time to start checking things off my list!

Order blank gatefold invitations…done! More work for angheartsdesign…I’ll take it!

Apply to Rockhurst College…check! Nursing school will be here before I know it. I simply cannot wait!

E-mail volleyball game results…almost done!

Confirm t-shirt designs…done!

Create a new half marathon training plan…check!

You read that right. I have made a new half marathon training plan for a race that is eight weeks away! I’m trying a little bit different type of training plan, and I’m definitely looking forward to challenging myself again. When I do start nursing school, I won’t have all this free time to spend hours a week running or in the gym, so why not live it up while I can and while I am loving it!

Little by little…I’m coming back!

ang