Home About Contact DIY Inspiration Lifestyle Sponsor Image Map





The Happy Type
<div align="center"><a href="http://thehappytype.com/" title="The Happy Type" target="_blank"><img src="http://thehappytype.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/button-1.jpg" alt="The Happy Type" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The Happy Type
<div align="center"><a href="http://thehappytype.com/" title="The Happy Type" target="_blank"><img src="http://thehappytype.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/button-2.jpg" alt="The Happy Type" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Jade and Oak Blog Birthday Giveaway!

I love birthdays, because, well…CAKE. Also, I love to see people happy and just enjoying the fact that they are another year older and wiser so when Jackie from Jade and Oak’s blog birthday came up I was all about joining the festivities! We are talking a big mamma jamma kind of festivities, too, folks. Like the 300 bucks up for grabs kind of festivities. Kinda makes those socks your MeMah got you every birthday look like chopped liver, right?

IMG_5000-2

 

Jackie and one of her pugs that I just want to cuddle until I fall unconscious. Don’t judge me because you know you want to do it too.

Jackie is one of the bloggers that I’ve interacted with and feel like I’ve genuinely connected with. It can be kind of hard to really become blogging “friends” with someone in a “I’d totally hang out with them and watch all the moves while we ate all the things” kind of way, but Jackie is one of those people. If you haven’t hit up Jade and Oak before then spend some time there and get to know this amazing lady a little bit and don’t forget to wish her a happy blog birthday!
August $300 Paypal giveaway

Rebekah – Living Lavender | Madison – Wetherills Say I Do | Kelsey – Ladies in Navy | Ashley – The Grits Blog | Sarah – Venus Trapped in Mars | Helene – Helene in Between | Rachel – With Love, Rachel | Jordyn – The Fairy Princess Diaries | Kelly – Six One Six | Madaline – Pretty Thing & Co. | Jana – Life Could Be a Dream | Crystal – The Happy Type | Lisette – Northern Belle Diaries | Tori – Fashion, Bling, and Other Girly Things | Jess – Jess Loves This Life | Jenny – Dancin’ With A Dolly | Jenn – hellorigby! | Marielle – This Flooded Sky | Sarah – The Baloney Bin | Jackie – Jade and Oak

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Motivation

Today’s post is dedicated to sharing some Monday Motivation because everyone needs a little pick me up to get going, especially when a new week is starting. There’s something about Mondays that makes a to-do list look so unappealing, isn’t there?  I’m really excited for this week because I have some awesome stuff planned for the blog and it looks like my living situation might soon be resolved!

House hunting never gets easier but at least now I get to not only be with my husband, but we even get to have all of our things in one place. I haven’t talked a lot about it but my husband was finishing a tour abroad while I was working on my first year of graduate school and now we get to see each other allllll the time! I’ll be commuting to graduate school but I swear that anything is better than the previous arrangement.

Here’s to drinking all the coffee this morning and setting up for a successful week!

taylor-swift-dancing-cmt-1

I am so excited about finding a place to settle down in that if I knew a jig I would be dancing it. Since I don’t know how to do a jig accept this Taylor Swift chest pump as an illustration of my excitement.

mayavia

bepresent

via

tumblr_mggxziDMLW1r80jjso1_500

via

974fa1c92d3506fa101f52b00a274e64

via

a74f81f6f54bd42b8d9c6250fc46f914

via

With a day full of meetings ahead of me I’ll be feeding off of these inspirational as much as y’all so let’s get in the mood to make the most of our Monday!

 

Women and Geek Culture v. 4

ffx2

What woman didn’t play FFX2 and not love every single second of it?

It’s time for another round of Women and Geek Culture and that means it’s my favorite day of the week. Women and Geek Culture is quickly becoming one of my favorite things on this little blog and I love the genuine discussion it sparks. Who doesn’t love discovering new books to read, games to play and fandoms to love? On the recommendation of Claire from Daisy Bisley I went out and bought the Batwoman in the New 52 series and I’m IN LOVE. Plus, I’ve added a new batch of author’s to my kindle on the recommendation of Marielle from This Flooded Sky and Alys from Mundane Ecstasy. I hope that this regular series proves to be a fruitful resource for other women with geek culture interests because there’s literally nothing better than getting to share what you love.

Meet the women of the 4th installment of Women and Geek Culture!

womengeekculture3

Marielle | Alys | Claire

When did you first fall in love with geek culture?

Marielle: My elementary school used to have a book club program – teachers would hand out these mini magazines with book information and we could order through the school.  This was before my town got a Barnes & Noble.  When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I ordered a Tolkien set that included The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and fell in love.  I was a total Tolkien fangirl for a while, and eventually discovered the SFF section when the B&N opened.  I bought all his other books, but all the elf history went way over my head back in the early days.  Around the same time my brother got me to watch Star Wars by tempting me with Ewoks.  Totally watched that every day for a while.

giphyvia

Alys: To quote John Green “I fell in love like you fall asleep, slowly at first and then all at once”. My Dad had 3 daughters and he never excluded us from watching/enjoying what would now be called geek culture. Many years later my new boyfriend (now husband) wanted me to play World of Warcraft I agreed to impress him. I had read somewhere that all men wanted a woman to game with and I was determined to enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. WoW was the beginning of my love of geek

Claire: I first fell in love with geek culture the day I found that special someone to geek out about Lord of the Rings with – my good friend Anna. I’ve always loved what I love and can’t remember becoming a geek or ever being labelled one, well until I got to high school and discovered it wasn’t cool to like certain things – looking at you Stargate. I did start to feel a little lonely in my love for sci fi, action movies and other such geekiness. Sharing the love for LOTR was magic! Finding someone to talk obsessively about the tiny details and great deep meanings with made all the difference and did wonders in making me comfortable and confident in being open and enthusiastic about my geeky tendencies.

111410

Oh, Stargate love. So many feels.

That feeling of shared enthusiasm, passion and inclusion is what I love about Geek Culture – it’s infectious. People coming together to love the sh*t out of something is inspiring and with so many online communities and the growth of conventions, it’s such a great culture to be a part of.

The world may be getting smaller, but the geeks are taking it over!

How do you feel we can create a more inclusive and nurturing environment for girls and women within the geek community?

Marielle: I’ve always been a closet geek.  I pretty much hid the fact that I read fantasy books until I was around 18 and realized I had friends with similar interests.  I’ve toyed with the idea of joining geek Meetup groups in my city, but I’m always put off by the possibility of hanging out with a bunch of weird men or having my geek cred questioned.

tumblr_mdgh81fSJD1rb4jbpo2_500

Having your geek cred questioned isn’t fun. 

I’m basically hitting most of the problems with women in the geek community, aren’t I?  I spent so long hiding it that now it feels weird to dive into geek groups. I’d love it if students could read more fantasy books in school, to show that it’s not a genre worthy of mockery.  Or if teen magazines recommended a variety of books for girls.  But maybe my age is showing, because kids these days are the generation of Harry Potter and teen paranormal romance is already mainstream.

Alys: The truth is that there is too much judgment in this world in general. We need, as a collective, to start understanding that every single person has a right (assuming no one gets hurt) to love whatever it is they love.

To make this happen we need to start when we are children, to tell boys and girls that its ok to be a geek. I believe, and am encouraged, by some of the groups out there that tell little girls its ok to love science and gaming but we also need to teach boys – because when those little girls start trying to impress the boys if the boys aren’t interested in a smart gamer then some girls will pretend that isn’t them.

For adults geeks need to admit that they are geeks without shame. If we accept ourselves eventually others will as well. It’s hard to belittle or exclude someone if they will not go away. Sadly the concept of female geeks is so foreign to men (and to be fair major content producers) that the shock of finding us there brings out the worst in others. If we remain, knowing that for right now it will be bumpy, eventually we will have to be acknowledged and welcomed. Of course, it would be nice if other women wouldn’t be so judgmental that would really help.

Claire: By being just that, inclusive and nurturing. Encouraging girls and women to be themselves and be proud of it is important. It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past and being comfortable enough not to shy away from public displays of geekery is now a part of who I am. That came from inclusion and encouragement and paying it forward is important to me. So building and/or finding communities online that encourage women and girls to just be who they are and that it’s actually ok to be a woman and a geek is a must. That and just being plain kind to one another!!

When it comes to female characters within science fiction and fantasy games, literature, graphic novels, or movies there are often two extremes women fall into, the either hyper-sexualized fantasy or the overly aggressive ass kicker. What are your thoughts on this and do you think this will change?

Marielle: Ugh.  It makes me cringe.  Especially when the overly aggressive ass kicker always needs to be saved by a man.  But honestly, I don’t think it will change anytime soon in movies, at least.  I mean, just think of how many movies still fail the Bechdel test.  I think the change is happening slowly in literature, but mostly because every noob wants to be George R. R. Martin.  These tropes are so ingrained but there are some great (female) authors out there who are turning them around.

Alys: I agree with you women are either hyper-sexualized or aggressive ass kickers though we are starting to see women just being smart (I am thinking Jemma Simmons from Marvels Agents of SHIELD who is smart and cute). I agree with you and I am positive that things will change. I would love to believe the world is all lovely but the truth is that the change will happen because big business will realize that we ladies are consuming the media too. Women, especially in the Western world, are usually key decision makers for household purchases and entertainment which is why there are so many products marketed to us. I honestly believe it’s the almighty dollar that will make changes happen – because if women are the decision makers and they want Wonder Woman to wear pants then she will.

Wonder Woman CropNot quite pants, but we’ll take this fierce looking version of Wonder Woman!

Claire: In order to answer this one I need to start by saying I was spoiled by Dana Scully! She is one of my all time favourite sci fi characters and quite frankly one of the most important for the budding young feminist I was when I watched The X Files. Scully was proof you could beautiful and smart, strong and vulnerable, spiritual and scientifically minded – not annoying placed buts in there!

tumblr_li9iuvnkpo1qf4elio1_400Do your thing, Dana Scully.

So taking Scully as my benchmark, jeez-o  sometimes I feel like the world has taken a step back – looking at you Robocop reboot, RIGHT at you. Mainly in movies I hasten to add. TV has always been better at fleshing out great female characters, but they have the pleasure of developing and moulding them over a run of episodes. Not really an excuse if you look to movies like Alien and Terminator 1 & 2. Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor didn’t start out as ass kickers, it was part of their development. Ripley kicked alien ass to survive and Sarah kicked Terminator (and anyone else who got in her way) ass to save her son and in turn the world from time travelling, self aware machine destruction.

How To Inspire People

howtoinspirepeople

Today I wanted to talk about inspiring people and how you can make a positive change in the lives of people around you. The secret to inspiring people is so very simple that it might seem like a no brainer.The truth is that it’s so simple it is easily missed or passed over. Are you ready for the big revelation on how to inspire and lead people?

If you want to inspire someone else then the first step is that you must inspire yourself.

Yup, that’s it. All you have to do is inspire yourself. If you are able to inspire yourself then you will inspire the people around you and let me explain what I mean by inspiring yourself. I mean that you have to believe in yourself. When you speak, your words cannot be a hollow they have to mean something otherwise they are useful as a bowl of plastic fruit (or some kind of horrible lie like a plastic pizza) when you are starving.

Make your words mean something, let your words carry weight, which also means that you cannot just toss out generic catch-phrases or general encouragement. You have to go deeper than a random “You can do this” or “It’ll be alright”. Make a connection and invest in the people around you so that when you speak, you speak to their needs with words meant to make a difference. Words that are meant for them.

So let’s get started and make some time to get alone with yourself. Get your priorities in line and when you tell yourself that yes, you are stronger than whatever is in front of you, believe it. Don’t falter because even if it isn’t pretty you’ll make it work. Remember that things don’t have to be pretty or perfect to be successful and so long as you believe in yourself, so long as you inspire yourself, then you are pretty much unstoppable.

Be the force of nature that you can be, believe in yourself and become an inspiration to the people around you. The best thing about this is you won’t ever have to tell someone what you are doing, it will just happen, oh so naturally. And that’s what will make it worth every effort, every failure and every time that you picked yourself back up and kept going.

On “Nice” Guys And Being The Scorpion

niceguys

Today’s post is 100% inspired by some old post-it notes that I found in a box while moving. The notes were a gift from a friend and were the sort that allowed you to address and leave a message for someone along with your current mood. There was even a fun numerical gauge for expressing how strongly you were feeling about whatever little message you were leaving for the recipient. While I lived with my friend Katie we pretty much left each other snarky little messages daily. It’s always fun to find messages from your BFF4L declaring her prowess at salad making or to take your frustration out on the worst co-worker ever in the form of a post-it note. There’s something satisfying about slapping that little note up on the fridge even if it is only for you and your roommate to see. It was in the notes that I found one that evoked memories of a long ago friendship and the assumptions of a “nice guy”.

Among all the inside jokes and random one-liners that Katie and I exchanged I found a note declaring, “To: Katie For: Always being the Scorpion. You can’t help what your nature is.”

66A fair representation of the “nice guy” and any women he encountered.

I looked at the note in my hand and suddenly I remembered who had written it, and the conversation that note had sparked in our house. The note’s author was a self-proclaimed “nice guy” who just didn’t understand why Katie wouldn’t return his attention. He was the kind of guy that fell for nearly every single girl that crossed his path even I had even been on his list at some point before he realized that I just wasn’t in the cards. Sure, he was pleasant enough, but conversation always felt forced almost like he wanted something from you except that you weren’t quite sure what. Every conversation seemed to hang on an unasked expectation, which led to awkward interactions and misunderstandings. He would drive nearly two hours in to town to hang out on your birthday but then end the night complaining to you how he just didn’t understand why your best friend wouldn’t date him.

“I’m a nice guy. Why don’t girls notice that? Why do you all like jerks? Is there something attractive about that? I guess I won’t ever be a hit with the ladies if that’s the case because I was raised right. Maybe one day I’ll find a girl who appreciates a nice guy.” 

tumblr_lfhs5xRgVt1qa58bio1_500

My reaction to the “nice guy” and his little diatribe women’s dating choices and how nice he was.

Dating and relationships isn’t always clear cut and navigating love and friendship is a part of life that consists of pretty much one giant gray area. You can’t help who you are attracted to and in turn you have no power over who returns your affections. Knowing that you are not able to control who reciprocates your feelings is a part of life and, well, free will. Just because you are into someone doesn’t mean that they have to by default feel the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are single and they are single, it just doesn’t work that way.

Too bad for the “nice guy” he never seemed to understand this and just went about targeting every female friend he happened to make until he was alienated within our group of friends. All the girls knew that he was “that guy” and just rebuffed or never took any of his attentions to heart. It was standard procedure to brief any new girls about his tendency for infatuation, but for some reason no one ever talked to him about his behavior. Once after a night out I sat down with him and made an effort to set him straight about things. “Girls don’t have to like you just because you’re a nice guy, you know.” I told him in a low voice to avoid waking my roommate while we sipped on lukewarm beers in my living room. He looked at me with a confused look on his face, “What are you talking about? I’m not saying that every girl should like me…it’s just that A GIRL should like me.” His voice raised slightly as he said A GIRL.

break-up-image-1

What our conversation looked like that night.

I sighed and motioned for him to lower his voice, “A girl will like you when you’re yourself. You don’t have to use this “nice guy” card to get a girl to like you. I think it’s actually doing the opposite because we can tell that it’s like..I don’t know…”, I faltered over my words before continuing on, “It’s like a gimmick or something and it just makes things feel cheap.”

“It’s not a gimmick, it’s who I am. I can’t help who I am and all I want is someone to see that I’m a nice guy and appreciate that, that’s all. I thought you would understand that.” He was mumbling now and set his beer down with a sigh. “Look, I should go. I’ll talk to you later or something.” And just like that he was gone with an indignant tone and we never brought up our conversation again.

I talked to Katie after that and we agreed that something needed to be said and she even point blank told him that she just wasn’t interested in him like that. Still, it didn’t stop his indignation or entitled behavior concerning her affections or that of any woman that he felt should be attracted to him due to his “nice” guy qualities or his self-proclaimed gentlemaness. There was no making him see that his actions were not those of a “nice” person, never mind a “nice guy”. We made sure to avoid situations where he would be in the mix and made it very clear that we wouldn’t tolerate his actions anymore.

Even though we cut the “nice guy” out of our lives it was like a slap in the face from the past when I saw his passive aggressive note to Katie. It wasn’t in her nature to be the scorpion, a name that he gave her, and explained to me was based on the fact that scorpions stung and hurt everything around them because it was what they were made to do. My friend wasn’t made to hurt people and she certainly wasn’t made to lash out at everyone around her. However, she was made to like, love, hug, or kiss whoever she wanted. She was made to be free from pressure or the expectations of someone who felt entitled to her affection and attention. She was not made to feel guilty because she didn’t care romantically for someone she thought of as a friend. Nor was she made to “give him a chance” or bow to incessant badgering to date, kiss, or hold hands.

ezgif.com-gif-maker

Never ever feel pressure to date someone. EVER.

I write this today because not all “nice guys” are nice. Not every boy or man that crosses your path is entitled to your affections, body, or attention just because they treat you decently. Sometimes, a woman can feel pressured to like the “nice guy”, to give him a chance and to stop wasting her time on jerks. You can’t help who you are attracted to and if it isn’t there, it isn’t there. Don’t force things because you want to prove that you are different or because maybe all that pressuring is starting to sway you. Date whoever you want and do it free from judgement because truly “nice guys” are first and foremost, nice people and what nice person wants to strong arm someone else into doing what they want?

I’m A Certified Personal Trainer!

personaltrainer

For some reason it seems like things never quite slow down for me and even though it’s summer these past few weeks have been no exception to the Turpin-tornado rule of life. Proof of this is that I decided to take my personal training test while coordinating a move between states and at the same time as my husband left behind the military life. Whoops. Sometimes things just seem to all come to a head and you’ve got to adjust and roll with the punches. Thankfully, I’ve got an amazing husband and support system so while I felt like I was drowning in deadlines things still got done and moved forward. Things like my personal training certification which I almost put off because it felt like there was hardly enough time to study this summer.

After thinking it over and talking it over with my husband I decided to give it a go because if I was honest with myself the reason why I was thinking about putting off my test was due to fear. I was scared. Like, really, scared that I was going to fail my test and instead of taking a step towards my dreams I would feel like a loser. When it comes to failure and fear I am easily my worst enemy and the negative self-talk that goes through my mind is insane. In the past I used to let my fear shut me down, but since I’ve gotten more mature I’ve learned how to control my thoughts and get calm.

The key to growing up and moving forward in life towards what you want is knowing that everyone is scared. With each new risk or venture the fear will always be there the trick is learning how to control the fear and channel it into something productive. You can’t let fear stop you in your tracks so here are a few inspirational quotes that I used to give myself a reminder that I did not have to be controlled by my fear of failure.

d8e40c98ae5bd8ad14e3a4b5a4a149da

via

34-everythingwillbeokintheend

via

tumblr_n5fgr9cvJN1r0r0vvo1_r3_500

via

09803d102132be5cd500b3593c7b4fda

via

These little guys helped me keep it together and I hope they give you a pick-me-up for the coming week and whatever challenges that you have lined up. I can’t even begin to tell you the joy that went through me when I saw my final results pop up after taking my test. I am so excited about working on a career as a personal trainer and passing my NESTA certification just reinforced that when I control my fear I can do just about anything I put my mind to. Whatever it is that has you feeling full of fear is not stronger than you, it is not bigger than you, and it is certainly not better than you. Control your fear and step into it because you can do this.

I believe in you.

Women and Geek Culture v. 3

redheads-leeloo-multipass-the-fifth-element-21552

Leeloo Dallas rockin’ the multipass.

It’s time for another round of Women and Geek Culture and this time I asked a wonderful trio of bloggers to take the reigns. I’m really excited about sharing the answers each women shared because any opportunity to get a little geekery discussion going is a go for me. For the latest installment of Women and Geek Culture I’ve got Marielle from This Flooded Sky, Claire from Daisy Bisley and Alys from Mundane Ecstasy pitching for a fun and engaging discussion. Pretty rad team of ladies, right? Yup.

womengeekculture3

Marielle | Alys | Claire

This won’t be the last time you see this talented trio in action though, because I have the 4th part in the Women and Geek Culture series all ready to go so keep a look out for it next week!

Is there an upcoming sci-fi or fantasy movie or book are you psyched about and why are you interested in it?

Claire: It’s not quite sci fi and it may already be out, but my pre-ordered paperback won’t be in my hands until September. I couldn’t be more excited for Batwoman vol.4 and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a comic series as much as this one. It’s brilliantly written, the storyline is fantastic and the characters are so interesting they keep you invested. And then there’s the artwork! It’s so beautiful each panel could be framed. It reads almost like a movie in the way each section is laid out and the art flows through the book beautifully.

Then there’s Kate. I’ve loved Babs and her Batgirl throughout the New 52 as well, but there’s something about Kate Kane that draws me in. She’s more complex and completely different from the rest of the Bat-family. She also has a unique reason for becoming the Bat. So compelling to read… and did I mention the art? Her character design is stunning, giving pasty redheads like me something to adore and her suit is now and forever one of my favourites. I could go on all day, so why not have a read to see what I mean.

BW_Cv17via

Marielle: I’m psyched for the next Michelle West and Patrick Rothfuss books, but no publication dates have been set yet.  So the next best thing is probably Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole, my YA guilty pleasure about tarot card teens in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  KC makes me LOL every time, and she’s great at writing female characters.  This series is just the anti-Twilight, for so many reasons.

Alys: Cannot believe I am admitting this but I am actually excited about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which is due out May 2016. It’s hard not to be excited about a Batman or Superman film, that they will be together with Wonder Woman in the same movie is going to be fun even if it’s terrible.

If for a day you could step into the role of one heroine who would it be and why?

 Claire: There are a few, but I’d have to go for Kaylee from Firefly. For one reason, to fulfil a secret ambition, hidden deep within – to be an awesome mechanic.  My Dad used to sell cars and I always loved being around them, so it would be cool to run around in a jumpsuit fixing up an old spaceship. More importantly, Kaylee is fun, bubbly and a bit of a tomboy. She is also sweet, quirky and vulnerable, but knows exactly who she is and isn’t afraid to be just that. All things I aspire to and hope to be.  What more could you ask for in a kick ass lady?

Marielle: Probably Tess from Jaran by Kate Elliott.  I always thought she was a ridiculously cool heroine because she’s a linguistics genius.  Also, she’s gathering information for an interstellar rebellion while living with a nomadic tribe on a pseudo-Renaissance era planet.  Coolest job ever.  But the clincher is the fact that she can fight with a saber.  I’ve always loved swords.

Alys: As its only for a day I have to pick Princess Peach from the Mario Bros. series. Random I know but think about it I could play sports on a gorgeous island (Peach is a keen golfer), drive in a go kart race, I get to live in a castle, eat cake with cute Italian plumbers and play party games with my friends.

If I had more than a day I would want to be Hermione Granger but for just a day I plan to have a great time as Princess Peach.

no-joke-of-a-princess-1024x758via

What are your thoughts on science fiction and fantasy literature? How do you view the women portrayed within these stories and what roles do they typically fill within the story arc?

Claire: I don’t read a lot of sci fi and fantasy literature, but do partake in the odd comic and graphic novel. I’m a sucker for real female heroes, something lacking in the movie world of late, so I guess I feel the need to compensate in my reading. When I say “real” I mean believable, flawed, human. Someone with depth and integrity. So I try and seek out female led things, like Batwoman, Batgirl and Wonder Woman, as it’s always great to feel the presence of a well written and well developed female character. A character to feel inspired and/or empowered by or just someone to empathise with.

The last sci fi novels I read were The Hunger Games (again). A female hero, albeit a flawed one – a human one, but a hero all the same. Katniss is made real by her flaws and traumas and that’s what appeals to me – real characters with depth that makes you invest in them.

Marielle: It was actually a long time before I consciously realized (probably when I saw the first movie) that there were no lead female characters in The Lord of the Rings.  True, you can argue that there are some powerful women in Middle-Earth, but they’re either not moving the story on their own terms or don’t get a lot of screen time in the books.  And sure, Eowyn’s badass and all, but she’s also (oversimplification here) giving up her life because some guy doesn’t love her.  Obviously, times have changed and lead female characters are more common in SFF books these days.  However, I feel like some authors still use the excuse of “historical accuracy” to justify the passive/restricted roles female characters play in medieval-esque settings, as if the fantasy genre doesn’t give authors full rein to make up their own worlds and histories.

tumblr_static_faramir-and-eowyn-faramir-and-eowyn-14073226-960-404via

Also, there are so many stories that focus on male friendship and camaraderie.  Where are the books about two female best friends having adventures?  If Frodo and Sam were women, would they make it to Mount Doom?

Alys: Although science fiction and fantasy literature is better than many there is still far too many damsels in distress. I have no objection to working as a team, men do that all the time in sports/war/action literature but that is very different to the constant tripe of the heroine who needs to be rescued.

If you enjoyed the Women and Geek Culture series that I am running and would like to participate get in contact with me because I love connecting with other fellow geek ladies. I love adding more female voices to the discussion because too often geek culture can feel like a woefully female-free zone but it’s not so come and party down with your cohort. 

Believe In Someone

believeinsomeone

Today I wanted to talk about the power that we have to invest in someone else’s life by making our positive opinion on them known. When you believe in someone you are trusting that they have the potential to handle any situation they come across. It might not pretty, but they will be able to deal with what life has thrown at them. Be it a test, a morality issue, or a difficult patch in life you have the faith to know they will come out on the other end in one piece.  A lot of times people are slow to hand out encouraging words and that’s a shame because there seems to be no shortage of hurtful ones. Too often, people are shy to share their thoughts and that’s normal because it can feel weird to tell someone that you have faith or believe in them. Although what good does your faith in someone do if they don’t know?

It does no good at all. 

Sometimes life can kick you down and just knowing that someone out there believes in you can be the motivation you need to stand back up. Having someone believe in you can be the single most humbling and scariest thing to happen to you while also managing to be completely exhilarating at the same time. Even when you doubt yourself knowing that someone has unfailing belief in you just has a way of making you feel like you are able to do so much more. I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve hit rock bottom or felt like I was drowning in a situation way beyond my capabilities, but was bolstered by the belief that someone else had in me. I was only able to draw on the sense of strength that came with knowing that people trusted in my abilities because they told me. If they hadn’t I would have never know and would have never been able to talk myself through those hard times. Knowing that someone else hadn’t given up on me was enough to push me not to give up on myself. If they still thought I had it in me then shouldn’t I at least try?

Believing in someone can also have a positive affect on you. Just like having someone believe in you can push you to trust in yourself believing in someone else forces you to look for the strengths in people. When you believe in someone you stop focusing on where that person is weak and instead you linger where they are strong. Not to mention that knowing there is someone you can count on is a tremendous stress reliever because who can do it all? Not me.

Not everyone is strong all the time and no one can do everything on their own. Having people that you actually can count on creates a support network you can rely on. I have friends I swear by for certain things and all of my friends have their own unique strength that compliments my life and our relationship. Believe in someone and make sure to tell them that you do, too! You never know how valuable the knowledge that you have faith in them can be to them. Expressing your opinion can literally turn around someone’s point-of-view on not only life but themselves and that’s way too cool not share, right?

Anastasia Amour // Stardust + Project Positive

Happy Tuesday! Today I get to put the spotlight on Anastasia and her blog Stardust. If you’re looking for a blog full of positivity, empowerment and lessons on self-love then Stardust is exactly what you’ve been searching for. When I first met Anastasia I was instantly taken in by her warm personality and sincere interactions with not only me but the entire community that she’s built on her blog.

I was struck by her ambition and drive when it came to sharing positive living on her blog and was in awe of Project Positive, an initiative that Anastasia started to encourage people to dwell less on their shortcomings and to focus in on their strengths. I know that Anastasia is going to go far and I am so humbled to have her sponsor me. I’m beyond thrilled to get to share her blog with all of you. Enjoy today’s Q&A and get to know Anastasia better!

 

cropped-STARDUST_ANASTASIAAMOUR1

Introduce yourself and your blog, Stardust, to everyone!

Hi everyone! My name is Anastasia, and I’m the girl behind the blog Stardust. I started Stardust in January this year as an outlet for me to air my thoughts on how we can improve our lives by learning to accept our vulnerabilities and since then, it has taken off more than I ever could have imagined! In April this year, I also launched #ProjectPositive, an initiative to help stamp out self-inflicted negativity on social media.

1798602_242972652554890_1594130403_n

 

What motivates you to write on your blog? What are you driven to share with your readers?

Every day women inspire me to write – every woman is beautiful, and yet so often women are conditioned to think that they can’t be beautiful unless they fulfill a set of criteria or “ideals”, like wearing the right makeup, the right clothing,  being a certain body type and acting in a certain way. This creates self doubt and self-inflicted negativity, manifesting in the form of negative thoughts. We learn to then project these negative thoughts not only onto ourselves, but then onto other women – further propelling the negative cycle. Knowing this inspires me to make a difference, to let women know that they are beautiful, they are amazing and they are enough. If I can help just one woman see her own self-destructive thought patterns and improve her life, then I consider that truly awesome.

I-once-had-a-garden-filled-with-flowers

What inspired you to start Project Positive?

#ProjectPositive started when I was browsing through my Facebook feed and I noticed a trend – each of my female friends that had posted something that night, all beautiful, successful and wonderful in their own rights – had something negative to say about their situation, whether it was about themselves, their jobs, families, friends or whatever else. Not one single positive thought! We see people complaining about the negativity in their lives and yet here most of us are, perpetuating the negativity even further. I did a bit of an experiment and monitored my News Feed for the next week, and I found that 85% of the status updates from women were negative. This so me is incredibly sad – there are so many beautiful things in life! I knew then that I wanted to start a dedicated movement to help women shun the negative, and instead project what’s positive.

Untitled-design-48

What’s one time in your life when you were in a rough spot? How did you get through it and what would you say to anyone who is struggling in their own life?

I’ve had a pretty blessed life to be honest, but I’ve struggled with some things. Like many women I’ve suffered an eating disorder, but unlike a lot of people I was fortunate enough to overcome these issues, which sadly some people never get to do. I know first hand how negative thoughts can eat you up inside and play on everything you think you are – and these thoughts can come from both people around you and also from within. I only overcame these issues when I stopped listening to the negative people around me and  stopped listening to my own negative thoughts.

My advice to anyone going through a rough patch would be to know that negative times, like storms, will always pass. Your situation is not permanent and no matter how helpless you might feel, you always have control of your mindset. We are all capable of amazing things and overcoming great feats, and only when we realise that can we overcome what stops us!

 

Name one person who has inspired you and why have they made such a lasting impact on your life?

I’ve been inspired by a lot of people, but particularly my partner Cameron has hugely changed the way I see things. He’s suffered with mental health issues and has gone from a really negative and destructive place in his life to one of positivity, and he’s done this purely through hard work and dedication to ridding himself of his destructive patterns. He’s shown me that nothing is set in stone – when we have a negative trait, we often brush it off with statements like “that’s just how I am”, but that’s simply not true. It may take hard work but we can all change ourselves for the better. We can never be faultless, but we can work on being the best versions of ourselves that we can be at that moment, and this flexibility to change ourselves is truly powerful!

1510611_258186851033470_8524292224615339901_n

What are your future plans for not only yourself but your blog?

I plan to keep on doing what I’m currently doing, but in an even bigger way! I have no plans to slow down, only to keep growing and growing each and every day, for both myself and my blog! Blogging has taught me that writing to help people is something that I want to do for the rest of my life, and whilst I currently balance blogging with a full time job in marketing, I’ve recently come to the realisation that continuing to help people through my writing is what I really want to focus on. I think when you’re passionate about something, you’ll know when you need to take the risk and go for it, and this is something that I’m truly passionate about!

Untitled-design-24

Get Started With Stardust:

What Should You Be Doing In Your 20s

An Open Letter To Your Negative Thoughts

“Bitch Bragging”, and why it’s not OK

The Story Of My Eating Disorder

Keep Up With Stardust:

Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest | Instagram | Google+

Rainy Day In Seoul: Underground Shopping in Gangnam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’ve ever lived or made the error of visiting Korea during monsoon season then you know the woes of rain-induced cabin fever can test the limits of even the most zen-like of homebodies. When I lived in Korea there was only one thing I dreaded more than jangma or 장마 (monsoon season) and that was really just trying to find a taxi cab after the subway stopped running. In Seoul both jangma and taxis after 1 am are the worst.

1

Jangma and trying to get home after 1 am in Seoul have one thing in common: no one is going anywhere. Embrace it.

Finding ways to still have fun and get out of the house when every single droplet of water that ever dreamed of becoming rain seems to be falling down on you can be a real challenge. Thankfully, there are places in Seoul that are made to stand up to the inclement weather and today I’m going to share one of my favorite jangma shopping destinations: Gangnam Station. Yes, you heard me, a subway station.

1246286ppz4ki6dk6yp66s

You have to remember though, I’m talking about GANGNAM station, as in yes, that Gangnam.

We are talking about one of the most affluent and wealthiest areas of the city and even its subway is a must-visit fashion destination. I never passed up a chance to shop the fashion-forward areas of Seoul and Gangnam station was a little treasure for me that I could easily get to. The last thing I ever wanted to worry about during monsoon season was running for a bus when I had an arm full of bags so the fact that I could avoid going outside altogether was amazing. There’s also the fact that subway stations in Seoul are not the things we think about in general, especially in America.

Subway stations in Korea are clean, full of amazing restaurants to eat at, places to get your hair and nails done, bookstores, and yes, are the perfect place to get the most on trend clothes you could ever hope to find. Gangnam station is perfect for finding cheap alternatives to pricier name-brand clothes and you’ll be amazed by the 10,000 won racks that seem to rule this place.

I mean just take a look at some of the stuff up for grabs!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite thing about Gangnam station (other than than the fact that I can stay underground like a little groundhog) is that things are usually around 10,000 won, which is less than 10 bucks. If you really want something special the going rate is 20-30 dollars and you won’t regret your purchase. Gangnam is a place obsessed with being on trend and very much in the now of fashion so you can bet that a version of whatever you just saw sashay down a runway this season will be lurking in Gangam station and at a bargain.

So here’s the info on getting your shopping on at one of my FAVORITE indoor shopping destinations in Seoul.

You are going to need to get to the green line or line number 2. The 2 is basically just a mini loop that runs inside of Seoul’s larger network of trains and Gangnam is located right after a major connecting station, Seoul National University of Education. If you are connecting to the green you’ll most likely use line 3 or 4.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Follow these babies to a jangma free shopping zone.

Once you get off the train at Gangnam just make your way towards the bulk of exits 1,2,3,4,11&12 because the shopping center is set smack dab in the middle of these exits. If you came to Gangnam on the red line or the Bundang line then make sure follow the exits to the green line because the shopping is way better by the green line.

1368055_1_1

In between these exits is some great shopping!

I hope that this post gives anyone stuck indoors during jangma some ideas on breaking up the monotony of bbq places and norebang, because you can only eat so much jeyuk bokeum, drink so much soju and makgeolli, and sing so many 90′s pop songs. Ok, that’s a lie, you can never do too much of any of those things, but here’s to spending some cash on looking good while you do it.

tumblr_ma5oieFuUv1rwq9q8o1_r2_500Psy is wise in all things. Shop till you drop, baby.