Things I Love Friday & Link Love 11.4.2014

Happy Friday, Sparklers! It's finally starting to feel like Spring here in Toronto, and I couldn't be happier. I'm more than ready to ditch my heavy winter coat and suede boots for sun dresses and sandals.

Next to New Year's, spring seems to be a time when many people make big changes in their lives. It's a time of rebirth, and we see that as inspiration, whether consciously or subconsciously. So I've been paying close attention to my own choices, and finding that I'm definitely on the bandwagon. A new beau (about whom I'm ecstatic!), renewed commitment to being the healthiest spoonie I can be, renewed ambition.

Little things that made my week:

♥ This "rare and beautiful sight"! Haha. Spearmint gum. Lots and lots of it. 14 hour phone conversations with someone special. ♥ Rocking the grunge look. ♥ Raisin bread with peanut butter. So simple, so healthy, so yummy. Skyping with David. ♥ This Pinterest board.

Link Love:

♥ I had no idea you could make this many desserts in a slow cooker.

♥ More deliciousness: This garlic butter spaghetti with herbs pasta looks amazing.

Sometimes reading about how successful businesspeople got started can serve as inspiration for budding entrepreneurs. If you're looking for a longer read, Entrepreneurs Turn Their Passions Into Profits is a good one.

50 fun, cheap dates (that aren't Netflix).

Kristen Bell's live rendition of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" is adorable. She sings all three Annas' parts!

I love movie lists, and this is a good one. 

You probably won't make as much freelancing-- but you won't care.

So what's new with you? Tweet me or comment below; I'd love to know! 

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Music Saturday: Love Buzz

Tonight is the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. Since he's a major influence of mine, tonight is incredibly melancholy, but also inspiring. After all, Kurt was an innovative writer, an unforgettable performer, an intersectional feminist and a style icon.

Today I'm motivated anew to use my time on earth wisely: to inspire, to create, to love and to be happy-- and to listen to amazing music.

So I hereby resurrect Music Monday... A little early (late?) in the week, but nonetheless... It lives on. Just like Kurt.

Listen to "Love Buzz" by Nirvana here, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

P.S. If you need a laugh today... "Smells like..."! And check out this Kurt Cobain paper doll. Adorable!

Anxious? Just Do It!

Don't think about it! Breathe and just do it!
If you have to do something that petrifies you, here's the secret to getting it done with as little anxiety as possible: Just do it. Don't even think about it. Forcing yourself to 'just do it' allows you no time to create worst case scenarios in your head or find a way to back out.

Yesterday I had to have a blood test. I'm not scared of needles, but I'm terrified of the way I feel after getting one. I feel faint, nauseous, sweaty. About six months ago I actually blacked out after a blood test.

So yesterday when my doctor told me I'd need a blood test to help figure out what's causing my new chronic pain symptom, I froze. And said no. And then, "can I take an Ativan and ask someone to come with me?". She said, "Why don't you do it now? Get it over with. Don't think about it. You can do this".

I shook my head, but then I considered it. Wouldn't having the test now, even if my worst fears came true, be less scary than waiting a week, imagining passing out over and over, and then having to deal with the test? 

So I agreed. I did the test. It was awful. It took half an hour to find a vein and I almost passed out again... But I did it. And the triumphant feeling of knowing I faced my fear and came out on the other side was worth every moment of anxiety.

5 Signs You're Dating the Right Person

Even if you don't believe in Mr. Right, there's definitely someone out there who's right for you. But how do you know you've found him? 

1 He's understanding of your disability. Never, ever settle for someone who thinks less of you because of your disability and how it affects your life. If he can't get past your medication, your cane, your weekly therapy or difficulty with things like stairs or numbers, he'll have to get past the fact that he's not good enough for you.

2 He makes you as happy as you make him. Relationships are full of give and take, but they're not healthy when they're all give and no take, or vice versa. Think about how he makes you feel, and how he responds to your words, your touch, your time together. Everyone deserves someone who makes them happy.

3 He pushes you to become the best you, you can be. This isn't to say he convinces you to take college class upgrades or makes you exercise 5 times a week (that's a little extreme, and may not even align with your goals!). A supportive partner simply encourages you to try new things, cheers you on as you race toward the finish line and dries your tears when you don't succeed, knowing you'll do better next time.

4 When you see little things that remind you of him, you smile. I believe healthy relationships (romantic or otherwise) lead to an increase in moments that make you smile. So if you see a car that looks like his, happen to wear his favourite colour or hear your song on the radio and can't help but grin, he's probably the one for you.

5 He makes time for you. Yes, we're adults so we have responsibilities. But being an adult means being able to make a choice to push all responsibilities to the side for a day because some things (or people) are just as important as work and school. Just like it's your job to feed yourself nutritious food three times a day, it's also your prerogative to occasionally eat cake for breakfast because it makes you happy.

Note: I know many of my readers identify as LGBTQ+ (myself included!). I simply use the masculine pronoun in this article for ease of understanding.

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Does Obesity Make Kids Do Worse In School?

"You don't like that I'm fat, so you're calling me stupid?"
Does Obesity Make Kids Do Worse In School? I recently read this article, and predictably, it was maddening.

The article starts, "Puberty is hard enough on kids. It's worse for those [who] don't conform to whatever beauty standards pre-teens are aggressively marketed these days". Already, from the second sentence, a there is a tone of casual victim-blaming. Of course school is harder for those to whom a stigma is attached-- life is harder when you're part of a group which is systematically oppressed.

Apparently a new study has found that "for 11-year-old girls, obesity likely affects educational test scores throughout adolescence. For boys, the evidence remains unclear". To which I say: of course (again). Of course girls are more affected by societal pressure to be thin than boys are. This is male privilege.

Further: of course it's likelier that a girl of size (rather than her thinner peer) will not fare well at school. This has nothing to do with how smart, hard-working or capable she is, and everything to do with:

-Fat shaming. 
-Eating disorders.
-Anxiety and depression.

All of which a person of size is likelier to be affected by.

Instead of digging for reasons why fat people are worth less than our thin peers (hint: we're not!), let's focus on fighting the stigma attached to obesity.
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