Archive for January, 2015

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Super Bowl Cute

Super Bowl Cute

This week’s Fantasy Wardrobe Friday is inspired by…you guessed it! The Super Bowl! I thought it would be an interesting challenge for me since I’m not a sports fan and don’t have any jerseys or athletic wear in my closet. Well, I have sneakers…those might count I guess.

I wondered how I was going to put together two game day looks, but I thought obviously the outfits would be very wearable, simple, and casual. I didn’t really take into account whether or not I was going to make them outdoor friendly before I started working on them. So, the Patriots outfit is a little more geared for a colder climate. The Seahawks ensemble could be more for an indoor party setting.

I think the two looks also somewhat resemble the style of their respectable geographic locations. When I think New England, I think peacoat, whereas I feel like Seattle is in more of a puffy vest region.

Maybe that’s just a weird association in my brain. Haha.

Anyway, whatever team you are cheering for, please have a safe and fun Super Bowl Sunday!

Super Bowl Goat Cheese Balls

super bowl goat cheese balls

A number of weeks ago I was watching some mind numbing reality television in the form of Vanderpump Rules (I wasn’t really watching, I was listening), and one of the characters (I mean cast members) was raving about Sur’s goat cheese balls.

Wait. What did she say? Goat cheese balls? There is such a thing?

Being the cheese enthusiast that I am I just had to investigate this. I couldn’t believe they existed!

So, I went to Pinterest and I Pinterested for a reference recipe.

I came across a tasty sounding recipe at And They Cooked Happily Ever After. I was so excited to try this out, and now that I have, I decided it might just be a great snack for a Super Bowl Party (even though I hate football and uh, I’m not attending any parties)! Read more »

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Sick Days

sick days outfit

Please excuse the singular post this week; I got sick…again. It’s so annoying! This is twice in one month I have caught something, and this rarely happens to me. Hopefully, this is the last time I will be ill this season (knock wood).

I guess not feeling well inspired this week’s Fantasy Wardrobe Friday. I decided to put together sort of a sick day outfit, as well as showcase a few things that help me to be a bit more human when I am really feeling like a piece of junk!

First of all, I love to drink Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai Tea. It’s my absolute favorite! I am not a big tea fan, but I like teas that have spices in them. I always add milk, sugar (the naughty stuff), and a little organic coconut oil for some extra health benefits. This tea has become almost an addiction for me, and no other brand has come close to the flavors this one has. It’s sooo YUM! It’s even better in a cute mug…

Another thing I like if I am coughing or have a dry throat are organic lozenges by Zand. I hate medicinal tasting cough drops like Halls, and so normally I would do without. However, these blueberry flavored lozenges taste like candy. Have them on hand when you are sick and you will want to constantly have one of these lozenges in your mouth!

A couple of other essentials that make me feel a bit more energetic and less crappy are a good lip balm, and my tinted moisturizer by TheBalm. Winter is already dry enough. When you have a cold, you just feel as if every part of you is drying out even faster (except if you have a runny nose, that doesn’t ever seem to dry out fast enough).

Aside from the items already mentioned, my idea of trying to be comfortable on a sick day is to keep warm and wear relaxed clothing. You will usually find me wearing sweatpants or pajamas, a long sleeve shirt, and cozy slippers. I loved these printed pants from Topshop when I was looking for clothing for this post. They looked super comfy, and I adore prints (granted, I probably would not wear $90 pants to take a nap and be ill in, but that’s why this is Fantasy Wardrobe Friday). I chose a basic gray sweater to wear with them, and some toasty looking slippers.

Hopefully, you all find yourselves healthy for the rest of the season! I am counting the days until warm weather is here and I don’t need to worry about catching as many nasty bugs!

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Downton Abbey Style

downton abbey style

 

Downton Abbey is a guilty pleasure of mine. Every Sunday night, I am not on my computer from 8-9pm because I am totally devoted to watching the Crawleys and their dramas. I’ve always loved period based movies, television shows, and books. There is so much about past eras that intrigue me, especially the fashion.  It’s so interesting how trends have evolved over time.

When Downton Abbey first began, the fashion was different than where the show is currently. The setting began in 1912 when the Titanic sank. That’s when the Crawley family’s problems all began. They survived World War I, and are sailing through the 1920’s. The show is set in 1924 this season to be precise. The clothing styles had changed much during that short time period alone at the beginning of the 20th century.

Back then, there was such pomp and circumstance with the style habits of the wealthy. They changed clothes multiple times a day, wore corsets until that trend changed, and were required to wear gloves to social functions. But, if you watch Downton Abbey, how can you not drool over the luxe fabrics, intricate details, and dazzling jewels that were popular at that time?

So, this week’s Fantasy Wardrobe Friday is my set of Downton Abbey inspired fashion picks!

The Ins and Outs of Disability Advocacy

the ins and outs of disability advocacy

Sticking up for one’s rights, or the rights of a specific group of people is an important way to encourage change.  There are many ways society advocates for different things; person to person dialogue, media commentary, writing to the proper representatives, protests, campaigns, lobbying, or–as hopefully only a last resort, a lawsuit. All of these can be done in a peaceful way, but certain methods can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

I am a strong supporter of advocacy. I am a woman who is physically challenged, and I live in a rural community where not everything is necessarily the most user friendly to suit my needs. Most issues I have are minor; store racks being a little too close together, uneven curb cuts, door thresholds not being easy to drive over in a power wheelchair, and my ultimate pet peeve; restaurants or bars having only the tall tables in the most accessible areas. These things I consider to be relatively minor annoyances but easily remedied or dealt with.

All it takes is to ask for a little help or talk to someone if I am having a problem, and that’s it. Usually help is given and the other party, if they own the business or building I am in, hopefully are more aware of something they may have not noticed before. These issues really aren’t worth getting in too big of a tizzy about in the grand scheme of things.

I know there are more serious situations out there–problems that make us feel unequal and are severe violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Luckily I haven’t really had to deal with many of the big ones…aside from the obvious: stairs.

Some might think of me as maybe a bit too complacent; I just think of myself a realist. There are certain things in life I choose not to dwell on because in reality, these certain things don’t have that big of an impact on my daily life and the smaller snags don’t prevent me from doing things. I can utilize that time and energy on something more fun than getting pissed off at a clothing rack that got caught on my chair tire.

Story Time

Let me preface the next bit of this post by saying I am trying to explain the following situation without being too specific about location or names. I’m not trying to call out anyone involved on the internet. This story could happen in any community. Nevertheless, the following events bother me and that is why I chose to write about it.

Recently, in the rural town I live in, the newspaper released a story about three local businesses that had lawsuits filed against them by two local residents for not being in compliance with the ADA. Keep in mind, two of the businesses are in buildings downtown, which are pretty old. I am not saying that old buildings should be exempt from being accessible due to their age, but I know some buildings are not structurally equipped to be adapted in a way that is cost effective to the owner of that building. The businesses in the older buildings downtown are a restaurant and an antique shop. The third small business is an animal supply store.

The violations consisted of barriers like blocked or inaccessible doorways and a non ADA compliant bathroom at the animal supply store. Potential penalties to these businesses include the awarding of civil penalties to the plaintiffs, payment of court costs, and injunctions to fix the alleged barriers mentioned.

The lawyer representing the plaintiffs in these civil suits has been involved in over two dozen other similar cases throughout the state, representing individuals with disabilities. The lawyer and these clients are all members of a certain nonprofit advocacy board registered under the representing attorney’s law firm.

Most of the people involved in the cases documented in that particular story couldn’t be reached for comment or declined.

There was another article in a larger newspaper which talked about a clinic owner in the metro area who had also been victim of a lawsuit by someone on the same advocacy board with the same lawyer. This article contained more details about the case against the antique store owner in my town as well.

I have to say, I am pretty disheartened at the lengths some people go in the name of being an advocate.

This shit bugs me because lawsuits should never be a first resort. Both articles make it seem as if lawsuits were simply filed without any other attempt at resolution. Did the plaintiffs talk to the business owners to bring the barriers to their attention? Was there a respectful dialogue made between parties? Did any of the owners say they absolutely could not change a damn thing? If so, what were the reasons?

Then I also wonder, is the lawyer taking advantage and pushing these clients to file lawsuits?

The owner of the antique store is a woman in her mid 80’s, a widow, and she maybe sells fifty dollars worth of merchandise a day. This is what the one article stated. Her store is part of her livelihood, and it makes me sick to think someone lacked so much compassion in this situation that they are attacking a lady who is beyond retirement age. Yes, maybe there was a barrier in the store. But to sue her over it is just wrong.

Also, do the plaintiffs receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? If so, don’t they know what it feels like to be strapped financially? If they work full time and earn income, great for them. However, have a little humanity and think about other people’s circumstances as well. Think about the least mentally and financially taxing solution possible that will still promote positive change.

Luckily, that particular lawsuit had a dismissal agreement. The others, I’m not sure.

I would love for everything to be completely accessible. I hope that one day other people like me with disabilities will be seen as citizens who are completely equal in society. Unfortunately, we have a long time to wait before either of those things happen. So, in the meantime we need to set an example of advocating with class.

To sue without trying other means to resolve an issue is a really crappy way to advocate for anyone or anything. It gives advocacy a bad name. Also, it reflects badly on all people with disabilities. I don’t want to go into a local store and make the business owners here feel nervous that I will be the next person trying to sue them.

Getting money from someone under the guise of fighting for civil rights isn’t a fix all. It’s not even a band-aid. Getting people to discuss things like an adult and explore solutions is the only way to begin making real progress. I only hope more “advocates” will stop, think, and find some compassion before taking the most extreme route to achieve results.

What kinds of situations have you faced in which you advocated for yourself or another person? How did you handle it?

 

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: From Day to Night

01_08 day to night

We have a blizzard going on right now, and so I wanted to put a Fantasy Wardrobe Friday post together with an outfit that came across a little more….warm and Spring-like. I also wanted to find an item that could be used in a day to night look. I began looking for the main piece, a dress I ended up finding by Ted Baker. I haven’t been familiar with Ted Baker until recently, when I saw there was a discount sale on one of those sale websites. I think it might have been HauteLook. At any rate, I like how the brand has simple cuts, with bold prints and colors without being too noisy.

For the day look I found a black blazer from Topshop that is simple, but has a nice shape. I kept the jewelry and shoes more on the simple side as well. The bag is suited for a daytime routine, but I kept it in a flashy color that compliments the dress.

The night time look I decided to amp up a few notches. A cropped leather jacket adds some edge, along with some fuchsia, strappy, studded shoes. I completed the look with some fuchsia and silver drop earrings and clutch.

So…is it Spring yet? 🙂

Mushroom and Black Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese

mushroom and truffle oil mac and cheese

It’s no secret that I love cheese. I mean, people began buying me cheese for Christmas last year and this year the trend continued. This Christmas I actually received 17 wedges of it! You might say I have a wee bit of an addiction. But, if that is the worst thing a person is addicted to, that isn’t a bad thing.

Before I got sick and the holiday shenanigans, I had decided to make another recipe that called for truffle oil. This time I made mushroom and black truffle oil mac and cheese. Truffle oil is literally worthy of it’s own recipe series. So, I have been sitting on the food photos for awhile and finally decided I needed to get this post put together.  Read more »

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Women’s Winter Boots

womens winter boots

I’m back with another Fantasy Wardrobe Friday after a short absence! It feels good to get back to these Friday posts. I find them to be pretty fun to put together every week.

The topic this week is Women’s Winter Boots! It has been absolutely frigid here since right after Christmas, and if I could, I’d be wearing some of this funky footwear! Alas, I can’t shove my feet into boots anymore so all I can do is admire them. But that’s ok! I enjoy checking out the trends.

Where I live, boots are a must (at least for those who walk–I guess I can count myself lucky, I don’t need to put my feet in the snow)! A lot of the styles in the stores here though are kind of boring. That’s what happens when you live in a small town. Comfort should trump style if you will be spending some time outdoors so you don’t end up freezing your toes off, but not all boots for cold weather have to be cumbersome and utilitarian looking. As soon as I saw all of these styles, I thought they evoked style and warmth without being completely impractical (meaning, boots with heels that don’t work well on icy, snow covered ground).

I think my favorite out of the five is the Joan of Arctic Wedge Ankle boot (ok, it’s a wedge…sort of like a heel).

What Winter boot pictured here is your favorite? What type of boots do you like to wear during the cold months?