trust || guest post by Linda Emma

Linda

Today is an exciting first for Pretty Wednesday. A true blue print author is guest posting for us today! Needless to say, I am thrilled! Linda Emma is a mom of two twenty-somethings, lives in Boston, wrote an amazing novel ,works at Endicott College as a teacher/tutor and is a Content Creator for Effective Student Marketing at an agency. (Did you get all that?) She brings a little of her school experience as well as her own kids to her blog kidssuck.net. A blog with a funny title and some seriously thought provoking content. When I asked her to guest post for us, I left the topic up to her. I knew that anything she came up with would be better without my nosing around in it and, sure enough, her article on trust has had me thinking for days about the best lessons for my M. Can’t wait to hear what you guys think. Thanks Linda!

 

We are wired for trust.

Out of the womb and into the world, as a species, we possess a dearth of protective instincts. Anyone who’s ever seen a startled infant flail his arms and legs has to get that humans are ill-equipped to make it long-term on their own. The Moro Reflex hearkens back to an evolutionary day of falling primates desperately grasping to illusive clutches of fur. But its modern day display makes it pretty clear that babies truly believe that someone will be there to catch them if they fall.

Fast-forward to 21st century maternal instincts and those Neanderthal kiddos couldn’t have gotten it more right. As a protective breed, modern day moms are even better (or worse) than their forebears. They don’t just protect defenseless babies; they follow those babies through developmental stages much further than any of the predecessors. Moms are catching falling children when they stumble in grade school, high school, and even college.

And their kids trust them to do so, to be there, to take care of things, to clean up after them.

Too bad it isn’t made crystal clear to those kids, though, that not everyone is in their corner like mom and dad. That trust isn’t necessarily the natural order of things out in the big bad world and that it may need to be earned and deserved. That flailing about waiting for someone to catch them is a pretty wrong way to wade through life.

After one of my students felt betrayed by her friends, she told me, “I don’t trust anyone.”

An extreme response.

She had been lucky to find a college group where she fit in. It guaranteed her a lot of fun nights and gave her a sense of security wherever she roamed on campus. After the mind-changing incident, though, she reconsidered whom she should call friend. I also suggested that such a large circle of “friends” might be unsustainable.

She came to believe that never again trusting anyone wasn’t the way to go, but a measure of caution might be a good idea.

Ah, lessons learned.

Michael isn’t as quick to trust as his sister is. He’s also more likely to cut someone off when he feels he’s been betrayed. He doesn’t forgive easily. Or perhaps, he’s like his grandmother who claims she’s willing to forgive, but never forgets. Hmmm.

Michael and I have been dissecting the nature of trust recently. He’s young to be in business for himself, young to be learning some of the harsh lessons to which he’s recently been exposed. He’s trying to decide whom to trust and who may—or may not—deserve a second chance. For now, he seems willing to align himself with “partners” while looking to a future as independent contractor. No surprise. Even in preschool, Michael was a bit of an independent contractor.

My kiddos from college, though, aren’t necessarily set up for such independence. Some of them have gotten used to sturdy safety nets stretched below them and have become adept cliff jumpers. It’s hard to blame their behavior; past evidence supports their death-defying exploits. Someone has always been there, able to catch them just before they hit rock-bottom.

The thing is, I want my students to take chances, to believe, to trust –in others, but especially in themselves. I also want them to know, however, that flailing about with open arms into a plummeting abyss is no way to start their lives, and certainly could be one that ends it.

Trust can be ephemeral. It shouldn’t be. But too often, it is.

I don’t (usually) ask my students to trust me. Like my son, I believe trust needs to be deserved and earned. But if I were to posit an unearned entreaty to my students, I would plead, trust me: you need to be careful about whom you trust.

 

Enjoy!

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vegan chocolate mousse

DSC_2217I can not tell you how excited I am that Lauren from sofreshNsogreen is guest posting for us today. In my house we eat meat but the photos that Lauren posts almost convince me to change my ways. I follow her blog as well as her Instagram and want to practically eat my phone every time a picture pops up. The bonus is that they don’t only look pretty, they are in fact amazing. So, I reached out to her and asked if she could come up with something that my M would eat as well. Let me tell you….she nailed it! I made this vegan chocolate mousse for a picnic about a week ago and have already made it twice since. Thanks Lauren!

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I’m Lauren, the vegan blogger of sofreshNsogreen and I make it my mission to come up with nutritious, plant-based recipes for my friends and followers that are anything but basic and boring. I think it’s important for people to realize that eating healthily can actually be super easy and super delicious, it just takes a bit of knowledge, preparation and some key go-to recipes in your arsenal….and this treat I whipped up for you would definitely be one of them.

Now I’m not gonna lie, when Melissa asked me to come up with a plant-based recipe that was not only delish by my standards but by her two-year-old daughter’s as well, I was honored but also intimidated. I’m not a parent (unless you count a dog parent?) and while I know quite a bit about food and an experienced palate, I know very little about the taste buds of a toddler. I racked my brain and my recipe book thinking of what a little one might like, and I finally came to the conclusion (which could totally be wrong) that every child has to like chocolate right?

Well by M’s standards I am, as Melissa relayed to me that M devoured the chocolate mousse recipe I decided upon (hallelujah)! So this recipe is now officially child-approved and MLB (that would be my meat-lovin’ boyfriend) approved, and I can certainly vouch for it’s awesomeness (I eat it at least once a week). It’s so awesome that it’s almost easy to forget how good it actually is for you too. Let me remind you-

1. It contains cacao powder, which is the darkest of dark chocolate, meaning it’s rich in flavor (so that a little goes a long way) and it’s also a top source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (the high levels have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and amount of free radicals in the body).It’s also a much better alternative to conventional over-processed cocoa powder which usually contains sugar, fillers and have little to no nutritional value. I like Navitas Naturals, which you can find at most health food stores.

2. Helllllllooooooo avocado. I’m pretty much addicted to these babies as they have a way to enhance almost any recipe with their creamy texture and delish taste (i.e. this recipe). Affectionately dubbed the alphabet fruit (because of all the vitamins it contains) one avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, along with an enormous amount of potassium and “healthy” fat (omega-3, the good kind that prevents against heart disease). They provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein (crucial for vegans) and help improve your absorption of nutrients when combined with other foods. Last but not least they help to reduce signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health.

3. Unlike traditional mousses, you won’t find an ounce of dairy in this dish (which is difficult to digest and highly acidic, causing inflammation and potentially leading to wrinkles and breakouts). Instead it contains coconut milk which is completely dairy-free and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Coconut milk is also high in lauric acid, which helps to destroy viruses and diseases and plays a fundamental role in building your body’s immune system, which is essential to help your kiddos ward off those pesky germs that can run rampant at daycare and on the playground.

Now I could probably go on and on about this mousse (like about how there’s no white sugar in this recipe and only natural sweeteners to enhance the taste and texture like dates) but instead I’ll let you get to it and see for yourself.

Oh yeah, and for more delicious & nutritious recipes, please check me out on sofreshNsogreen.com. Thanks lovelies and of course Pretty Wednesday for having me!

Ingredients

Serves 2

1 cup coconut milk, full fat from the can

1 small avocado,  ripe

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle of sea salt

1 tbsp maple syrup

5 tbsp cacao

8 dates, chopped, pitted and soaked for 30 minutes in warm water

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1. Combine coconut milk and chopped dates in blender and blend. Then add additional ingredients and mix until well-combined.

2. Pour mixture into ramekins or small bowls and top with sea salt. Refrigerate for 4 hours or freeze for at least one hour.

 

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Enjoy!

all day wear || ladies in navy

Kelsey2One of the most popular requests on our survey a few weeks ago was that Pretty Wednesday do fashion posts. I’m so flattered but, lets be honest, my mom-iform mostly consists of mint colored converse and boyfriend jeans these days. I’m sure we would all tire of that little combo fairly quickly. So, my first thought was to reach out to a true fashion blogger and my friend/cousin/fellow pacific northwest dweller, Kelsey. I am ecstatic that she agreed to guest post for us today and can’t stop drooling over her photos. Check out her awesome fashion tips…..

 

I’m so thrilled to be guest posting on Pretty Wednesday today (from www.ladiesinnavy.com). I love my cousin Melissa’s blog even though I’m not a mom yet. It is a good peek into the (semi-distant) future of motherhood and the sweet moments (and massive challenges) that come with it. Melissa asked me to share some style today that would be mom-friendly.

It really only takes a few mom-coworkers to understand that being a mom is neither a piece of cake or a walk in the park, though it may literally involve many walks in the park. I am pretty sure that once I become a mom my go-to style choices will revolve around comfort and versatility. There is no mom out there that wants to be chasing a kid through the park in a pencil skirt and heels, but I bet there are quite a few that look longingly to the sweat-pant drawer and shed tears that they can’t just crawl inside.

I’ve put together some tips on versatile style options for a busy mom that don’t take a lot of investment, time or effort. I also pulled these looks together in about 10 minutes with day-old hair, so it shouldn’t be too hard to copy!

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1. It’s all about the shirtdress. They’re easy to throw on, perfect for any season (just add legging and boots in the winter with a heavy coat), and readily available in stores for under $60. The shirtdress is a bit short for moms on the go, but I’m also 5’10” and can’t ever find anything that covers enough leg! I got this one at the Gap.
2. For a day to night look, the flats to heels transition is always a killer one. Heels turn any outfit from easy to hot in a matter of minutes. And flats make outfits easy and casual. These cute striped flat/ loafers are from Gap as well. The heels are Guess.
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3. The statement necklace was invented for a reason. That reason is last-minute date nights when you have no time to change from your work/home/every-day clothes…

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4. Finally, the messy bun is a perfect up-do for a busy day chasing kids about. It also curls your hair into messy waves that are perfect for relaxed nighttime hair.

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1, 2, 3, 4. From day…

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…to night.

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Thanks for hosting me, Pretty Wednesday readers and happy styling!

 

Enjoy!

 

5-Minute Face || Natalie

DSC_1042I am over the top excited that my friend and fellow blogger, Natalie, agreed to show me around the world of makeup a few days ago. She does such an awesome job of combining ‘worth it’ department store makeup with ‘it’s the same damn thing’ drug store products. I have learned so much from her over the last year or so of friendship and am honored she would share her knowledge here.

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Hey there! I’m Natalie from The Natalie Diaries.

Any gal, married, single, with 3 kids or one fur baby can always use a quick way to get herself looking fabulous in the morning so Melissa and I thought it would be fun to share a few tips on how to get there with you. Here is my version of what I like to call The 5-Minute Face.

First, I prep my face with moisturizer. I like this kind by Origins because it has SPF 15 and a subtle tint-release. Then, I go in with the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, which delivers light coverage and more SPF. To get rid of those super attractive under eye circles, I like to dob (yes, dob) the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in a triangle shape under my eye. To finish, I set my face with a pressed powder by MAC.
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To give my face a bit more dimension, I take the Hoola bronzer, by Benefit and work it into my temples, the hollows of my cheeks and right below the jawline. And BAM! I just lost 5 lbs :) I highlight the tops of my cheekbones, down the center of my nose and cupids bow with the Watt’s UP cream highlight, by Benefit. After a little blush, I sweep clear drugstore mascara though my brows to tame any unruliness.

For eyes, I take a creamy nude liner and run it across my water line. By doing this, I am brightening up my eyes and faking a well-rested look. I then take my favorite Nars eyeliner and line my tight-line (upper water line) to make my mascara look thicker. After a coat of mascara, and a little Hoola bronzer in my crease (to create even more depth), I am nearly done! I fill my lips with the Jordana Moisturizing Balm Stain to get instant, intense color that will stay all day.

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And that’s it m’lovielies! Do a little shimmy and take a few selfies. You look great!

*A big thanks to M for helping me fully realize how going outside the lines with lipstick can actually look pretty awesome and – to Melissa for sharing PW with me for the day!

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my dear lacie + tissue garland

DSC_0588If you’ve ever read my dear friend Lacie’s blog, Queen Lacie, you know she’s one kick ass writer. She is hilarious and honest and her little Gemma says “lissa, lissa” when she wants my attention and I just about melt. But, you also know that the last thing that Lacie wants to write is a DIY. She crafts away at home but step by step isn’t really her style. Somehow, someway, I begged pleaded and conned her into it.

Feast your eyes on our very first guest post. Thanks L!

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DSC_0555Tissue Garland

take a piece of tissue paper. fold it in half the hotdog way (or “lengthwise” for those of you who didn’t learn hotdog/hamburger folding in grade school. shame on your teachers for not properly instructing you).
then fold it in half the hamburger way (“widthwise”).
fold it again in half the hamburger way. you will have a little rectangle. and you’ll see that one end is a series of folds. make sure the folds are at the top.
take a pair of scissors and cut 1-inch strips starting from the bottom, stopping about 2 inches from the top. this will be your fringe. don’t worry about being precise, imperfections are hardly noticed in this project, which is why it’s one of my favorites.
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open up the first fold and cut that shit down the middle.
unfold and cut down the middle again. you’ll have four sections of what looks like some scrappy ass fringe. but i promise it will become beautiful. trust me.
roll the sections one at a time. the part you left uncut should be in the middle.
gently but tightly twist from the middle outwards until it reaches the fringe part.
fold the tassel in half, and twist to form a little loop.
put a drop of hot glue in the place where the two sides meet.
and voilà! you’re done.

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hahahah just kidding. repeat 300 times, or however many tassels you want on your garland. this is the part where i usually start drinking wine and watching the Kardashians.
string your tassels on some twine and you’ve got yourself the perfect party garland!

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