So It's Decided

I feel like-- and I pray that-- this is the beginning of a big change in my life. Something new. Something exciting.

I am going to be affluent, poised, beautiful, enchanting, helpful, and filthy rich.

I'm tired of subsisting on too little; too little money, too little space, too little time, too little accomplished, and especially too little energy.

I'm going to travel more. Be more independent. I'm going to give more away and get more in return. I'm going to write. I'm going to talk. I'm going to devour delicious food and paperback novels and wear exquisite dresses and give my family my all and make some kind of impact in my readers' and clients' lives.

I'm tired of being sick and sick of being tired. I work work work at something (or nothing) for 36+ hours, until I pass out in bed, wilted. I can't do this anymore. And I won't.

My notebooks are empty. My bank accounts are empty. My suitcase is sitting, unused and dusty.

I eat greasy pizza and Red Delicious apples and potato chips and not much else. I don't exercise because I don't have the strength. I have my period 29 days out of 30 and cramps that kill and headaches that are relentless. My health is lousy. My face is scarred. I still have panic attacks. My sleep isn't restorative.

I'm going to get past these things, all these things, and soon. I just know it. I'm working hard. I'm trying to get healthier. I'm praying. I will do everything it takes to be healthy and happy and affluent and poised and beautiful and enchanting and helpful and rich.

Nothing can stop me now.

Things I Love Friday & Link Love 29-30.3.2013

I usually post Things I Love Friday and Link Love separately, on Friday and Saturday respectively, so... Consider this a 2-for-1 deal! Also, if you're so inclined, share your favourite links and moments from the past week, in the comment section below.
My week has consisted of:

♥ A couple very bad days, as far as Chronic Fatigue and Panic go. But I think those are over now. I'm feeling optimistic!

♥ A magical brainstorming session with Marina and Lin, over lattes and brunch.

♥ An epiphany about my Dermatillomania scars.

♥ Press at Toronto's One of a Kind Show (blog post about it coming soon!).

Little Things Which Made Me Smile:

This career advice ♥ Marina and the Diamonds' Electra Heart on repeat ♥ This inspiring quote. ♥ Planning an upcoming mini trip to Newark and NYC ♥ Ryan Gosling's velvet suit. Velvet!!! ♥ Teasing Edward with a laser pointer. Cats pouncing = adorable.♥ An incredibly clean office. (Thanks, Mommy! ;) ♥ This!! ♥ Peanut butter cookies. ♥
Easy, gorgeous spring mason jars. I love the bright colours and totally plan to try this.

How to fail for a month, year or decade and still be okay is packed with advice.

"Do you create anything or just criticize others?" 

A New York freelancer is writing a book about how she lives in Manhattan on $1000/month.

An excellent article from GLORIFY (whose Twitter I run): Eat what makes you feel good-- whether that's raw veggies or a massive cheeseburger.

I adore Morrissey, and find it hilarious how much he hates everyone.

More celebrity news: these male celebs are feminists. Way to go!

Have you ever been to Bali? Indonesia looks beautiful.

The most brilliant thing I've read all week is this article from The Onion:
"Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do."

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Learning To Be Proud of My Scars

Accepting the scars on my body wasn't nearly as hard as the battle I'm waging against the scars on my face.

"No one could love a girl with scars on every inch of her face"
"It's only okay to be fat if you have a pretty face, and I don't"
"Even $100 foundation can't cover these marks"

Every day when I look in the mirror, I see lack of self control, childhood chicken pox, chronic skin picking disorder.

What should I see?

A woman who struggles with dermatillomania and wins. Big, bright, brown eyes. A face that's weathered many storms and survived them all.

This is a work in process. I'm learning to be okay with that.

Image: Me, age 13

Music Monday 18.3.2013: Top 7 Reasons To Love Freddie Mercury

I have a super huge crush on Freddie Mercury. And talking about the glam, inspiring and talented Mr. Mercury is an excellent way to start our week, don't you think?

Top 7 Reasons To Love Freddie Mercury:

7 He's an LGBT icon.

6 His stage presence. Magic.

5 He dressed to kill, but tastefully [source].

4 Queen. Queen's an amazing band, and it just wouldn't have been the same without Mr. Mercury.

3 He loved cats. Freddie must be looking down from heaven (or up from hell) and giggling at a silly cat video, because the internet loves cats as much as he did.

2 That mustache.

1 That voice.

What's your favourite Queen song?

End of Winter White & Green Soup with Cheddar Cheese Scones

March is a magical month:
Winter slowly creeps away, letting spring flowers grow, temperatures rise and the sun stay out longer. Last weekend, I spent an afternoon with my dad, and we made a delicious end of winter lunch. We think you'll like it, so here's the recipe (and more mouth-watering pictures!).

Cheddar Cheese Scones

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups cheddar, shredded
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg wash)

1 In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda,
cayenne pepper and salt.

2 Blend in butter using pastry cutter.

3 Add cheese and stir.

4 Add buttermilk and stir.

5 With floured hands, form a ball. Knead 10 times gently on a floured surface.

6 Pat out dough to 3/4" thickness and cut into rounds with a floured cutter.

7 Place rounds on an ungreased cookie sheet and lightly brush with egg wash.

8 Bake at 425• for 12-15 minutes until golden.

End of Winter Green and White Soup

8 cups water
2 bouillon cubes dissolved in boiling water or fresh vegetable stock
Potatoes, cubed
Onion, chopped
Celery, chopped
Olive oil
Spinach or rapini
1 bay leaf
Your choice of dried herbs, salt and pepper, to taste

1 Stir onions in hot olive oil until caramelized.

2  Add celery and stir.

3 Add stock, followed by hot water and bay leaf, and keep stirring.

4 Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer.

5 Add herbs, salt and pepper. Continue to let simmer for 30 minutes.

6 Add barley and let simmer until cooked.

7 Add spinach or rapini. Stir until slightly wilted.

8 Turn off heat. Serve with cheddar cheese biscuits and enjoy.

Bon appetit!

Things I Love Friday 15.3.2013

The number 1 thing I'm loving this week is... An amazing, inspiring post from Golda Poretsky at Body Love Wellness. This will change your life (whether you're fat or not, but especially if you're fat).

"You’ve been taught that if someone thinks you’re too fat, or too loud, or too smart, or too dumb, or too whatever, or not enough whatever, that they get to have a say in how you feel about yourself.

So I’d like to introduce you to the deep spiritual practice of

Not Giving A Shit.

You may be thinking I’m joking when I say not giving a shit is one of my main spiritual practices, but I’m not...

Learning to not give a shit about the people who don’t want to work with me because I’m fat was key. And if other practitioners see my fat as an issue, I truly, on a deep level, do not give a shit.

If you notice that you’re holding yourself back from doing something you want to do because of other people’s opinions, it’s time to get on board with this spiritual practice."

Stellar, right?! Read the whole article here.

Some other stuff I lovelovelove:

Finishing my Social Context of Mental Health course at University of Toronto (through Coursera) ♥ Listening to Patsy Cline's Walking After Midnight Heart-to-hearts with my little brother ♥ Stacks of new magazines to read ♥ Buying adorable zebra print rain shoes ♥ End-of-Winter Green and White Soup with Cheddar Scones (recipe coming soon!) ♥ Not beating myself up over the fact that my CFS was especially bad this week ♥ Weekend plans with new friends!

How about you? What's on your TILF list? Enjoy your Friday!

I don't...

Here at P&S, I talk a lot about what I do: love sparkles, have an anxiety disorder, write. But what about what I don't?

Inspired by Rags To Stitches, here's my I Don't list:

-I don't mind long bus rides. In fact, I enjoy them!

-I don't have any problem with working hard, every day, for the life I want. Healthy, successful, happy.

-I don't exercise as much as I'd like to. I can't, due to some of my numerous medical issues, but I'm taking baby steps to get back into it. I miss hiking!

-I don't know why it's taken me so long to become a Law and Order SVU fan. But now I'm hooked.

-I don't have a crush on Julianne Moore. Just kidding. I totally do.

-I don't like talking on the phone.

-I don't believe I will ever, ever get enough of the Ikea Monkey.

-I don't like Brussels sprouts. I do, however, loooove spinach and broccoli.

-I don't believe it's only been a few months since I was in New York City and Washington, DC. I have itchy feet!

-I don't mind making silly faces and eating cotton candy on camera. [What good memories!!].

-I don't regret switching from Instagram to Flickr.

Wow. This has turned into a real exercise in both reframing how I think while writing (negative instead of positive), and in getting to know myself on a deeper level. Really. You should try it, and link to your post in the comments below!

Downplaying Invisible Disability

I'm afraid of letting my disability define me, but more than that, I'm afraid of down-playing it, because 1) that does a disservice to others with disabilities, and 2) my loved ones won't understand that when I turn down an invitation or take an Ativan or the elevator or flake at the last minute, it's not because I'm lazy or being difficult-- it's because I sometimes require different aids or am anxious or my fatigue is debilitating. This makes me feel guilty and less-than and like a bad friend. The guilt and anxiety and my symptoms are things I'm working on, but I fear that isn't enough: I feel like a fake. I'm not in a wheelchair. I don't have cancer. My agoraphobic tendencies aren't full-blown agoraphobia.

Am I a fraud? Does applying for ODSP (provincial disability aid) make me greedy? Am I fool for thinking I'm part of the differently-abled community, and will be welcomed with open arms? Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

Most of the time I know I have no dishonest motives. I do need help. And I am trying.

This shit is hard. I just pray it will make me stronger.

Pantone, Bathtubs & Justin Timberlake Doing Things: Link Love 2.3.2013

Soooo much cake batter goodness! Yum. More deliciousness: 75 healthy casseroles.

Bathtubs with a view look positively dreamy.

It's kind of obvious that I love Seth MacFarlane, but I admit I didn't know all of these facts about him. I do have his CD though, and it's amazing.

Are you dressing for yourself, or dressing to put others at ease?

This is spot on: 11 reasons why Jennifer Lawrence is your BFF in your head.

These Pantone Pairings will wow foodies and design nerds alike.

12 legendary Hollywood stars at home.

What do we want from male feminists?

The Dead Poets Society cast then and now. I adore Robert Sean Leonard.

Internet raises money for homeless man who returned lost engagement ring.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Never has that old adage been more literally on the money than in the case of Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City, Missouri who returned a diamond ring to a woman who accidentally dropped it in his coin cup when she gave him some cash.
Harris returned the ring to the woman and now people from all over are coming together to help him out...
Harris has taken his good fortune in stride, saying, “I like it, but I don’t think I deserve it. What I actually feel like is, ‘what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn’t belong to him and all this happens?’”

6 words English got from Hindi. So cool! I had no idea were the word 'shampoo' originated.

Here are a bunch of pictures of Justin Timberlake doing things

Have a great weekend!

Things I Love Friday 1.3.2013

Hey, it's March! Can you believe it? Time to enjoy the last of this winter and look forward to spring... Frilly dresses, chocolate bunnies, fresh flowers and long walks in the woods. Exciting! So here's a wrap-up of my week. Be sure to share your own gratitude list (or a link to it) in the comments below.

Best of the week:

♥ A huge breakthrough for both my business and my confidence.
♥ An excellent dinner with my dad at Positano.
♥ Finally seeing Tush for the first time in months. I've missed her so much.

Little things which made me smile:

♥ Listening to my favourite Queen song ("Killer Queen") on repeat ♥ Perfect winged eyeliner ♥ Hours spent poring over travel brochures ♥ Getting compliments for a job well done ♥ When friends absolutely adore the gifts you give them ♥ High scores on extra credit quizzes ♥ The New Black's dark blue nail polish ♥ Chatting with my friend Sherri (she works with me at The Selectively Silent Child, and she's totally awesome). ♥ Snow-covered pine trees ♥ Salon visits ♥ Striped sweater dresses with long chain necklaces ♥ Demi Lovato's new single, "Heart Attack". It's beyond amazing. ♥ When cats push doors open with their heads and announce their presence with meows. Ha! ♥ Suuuper comfy fleece pjs ♥ Candy-coloured decor ♥ Sweet, unexpected text messages from faraway friends ♥ Peppermint EOS lip balm ♥ Poppy seed rugelach ♥ This llama!

Tell me about your week, love!
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