Friday, April 30, 2010

Princess Laughalot

Best advice I got before getting married: "Keep it light, laugh a lot." Couldn't be truer.

P.S. I'm a little annoyed that Jasmine is often left out of these cartoons! She was my favorite!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

etiquette lesson 1. my lipgloss is cool.

Lipstick & lip gloss etiquette:
To apply or not to apply? Admit it we've all done it. So is it okay? Or just plain tacky?

According to Emily Post's Etiquette Guide:

"It’s okay to quickly apply lipstick at the table if you’re with close friends or relatives in a non-business situation, and at a non-deluxe restaurant. In general, personal grooming should be done in private for the simple reason that it can be annoying and it’s tacky. But putting on lipstick without using a mirror and without fanfare is one grooming ritual that can sometimes be performed in front of others. Still, think first! When in doubt, don’t do it, such as when you’re at a business meal or with people you don’t know very well."

The best time for a make-up and hair touch up? After using the restroom, come back more comfortable & refreshed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

cereal for dinner

It is important to remember that value does not come from a check list of to-do's, how well I cooke dinner, or even if I got to the gym that day. When beauty fades, and my skin begins to sag, when I burn blueberry muffins... it's inner beauty and the heart that matters. It's a lie to believe a person is worthless when they fail. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made! We are worthy of love and joy! Take heart when your biggest critic is yourself.

Sometimes I miss the single days of coming home and playing my guitar for hours on end and eating cereal for dinner while watching 20/20, doing a face mask, while wearing sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. Now that I am married I put so much pressure on myself to have dinner ready by the time my husband is home, and the house perfectly tidy. Not that those are bad things to do, in of themselves. But it's also not bad to once in awhile enjoy the day, forget to make a meal and have breakfast for dinner. If it's that important for your hubby to have meat & three for dinner, and he doesn't like the idea of raisin bran, then he can whip something up. I'll be honest though, my husband enjoys just about anything I give him to eat, and he's just as grateful! Take heart when your biggest critic is yourself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

us and them

I think we would all agree that we have come so far in America, but depending on the area you live that will determine the popular attitude towards being a working woman, stay at home wife, or both. According the Jordan Dee's, she grew up in an area of Texas in which most women were housewives, and those who worked were looked down upon. In Northern Virginia, I would argue it's the reverse.

There is also the category of women like my Mom ( __ years old today! Happy Birthday Mom!) who did not have the choice to stay at home, she had to work to make ends meet. But that did not mean she outsourced her duties as a wife and mother. She gave her all to her family regardless of how tired she was. I learned so much from her, and I respect her so much. She went back to school for her bachelors degree, pregnant with her sixth child, and oh-yeah with pneumonia. But that didn't stop her, she earned her degree. Recently she spent the past two years in grad-school getting her Masters in HR at the age of 45. Yes, ladies and gents my Mother is super-woman. She, and all the woman in my family, have been models of what woman's liberation was all about! They have been single mothers, nurses, teachers, personal trainers, administrators! You name it they have done it to provide for their families without playing the victim. I am from a family of resilient and brilliant women, who encourage one another in the choices each woman has to make for her family.

I want to repeat this blog isn't about "us and them", though it is an interesting topic of discussion, and that attitude does exist. It is an attitude that should be brought to light and shamed. I am guilty of judging women for their choices just as much as they judge me, and thanks to some insight from my wise Aunt.Katie, that attitude has been extinguished and I want to change just as much as I want others to change in that way of thinking!

I want to use this blog to continue to talk about these differences, and the consequences of our choices, but mostly I want to use this as an exploration and education tool for myself. Truth is there is a lot that was LOST in being a housewife, and being feminine. Being a housewife isn't just about the latest gossip or spending four hours in the gym, or wearing dresses and pearls all the time. When you are a housewife, it IS A JOB! My Aunt.Katie puts it like this, you are the "Vice President of Operations" when you are a housewife. This is just as much a full-time job as your husbands job. Both men and women should view it as such. I have found that people who respect and agree with this, have either had a wonderful mother that stayed at home, or at least know some great examples. On the flip-side, people who have negative attitudes about this title have very bad experiences or none at all of what a housewife is.

When you are a housewife, you are answerable to your husband... go with me here. If he comes home at the end of the day and you are still in your robe, you haven't even bothered to shower that day, and you have spent the afternoon shopping online and watching soap-ops he has every right to be upset and say "What have you been doing all day!". In the same way you have every right to say to him "What have you been doing all day?" if your husband were to get up, get dressed, and go to work but the pay-checks stopped coming. In his job, he is contributing the the well-being of the family, and in your job as a housewife you are also contributing (even if it's not financially).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a real nail biter and other childish habits

I have been biting my nails since... well since I can remember. I have gone through stages of not biting, biting, not biting, then biting again. Currently I have allowed them to grow up - I mean grow out! Much to my husbands enjoyment (who loves a good back scratch)and much to my feeling like I am going to go crazy.

The only thing that keeps me from biting is when they are painted. So I spent about $30 getting all the at home manicure supplies I could find; the base coat, the top coat, color, cutical oil, etc. I do a decent job, I am actually getting better, but I still enjoy the pampering of a mani-pedi. It's like getting a neck message - sure you can manage on your own but something just feels better about having a professional do it. Too bad I don't have $40 to go every two-weeks to Angel Nails.

So today, while waiting for my kitchen floor to dry, I painted my nails and caught up on Dancing with the Stars! Got to be productive in-between housework! :)

Anyone else have bad habits they can't kick?

Monday, April 19, 2010

"there's no place like home"

A sweet note from my Brilliant Mother, who just became a first-time Grandmother this morning....Congrats to Casie & Paul on their baby boy Jackson Parker Kozlowski.

"I love the topic and I love you. I know I put the same pressure on you that was on me. At least you realized it and are taking a stand. But what do you do with so much to offer. My thing was that I wanted you to have the chance and never wonder what if. So you had it, you choose not to go that route; at least you know what you are walking away from. As long as you're not walking away out of fear, then walk tall. It will be interesting to see how you find an outlet for your talents. That is vital because they are part of you. But they don't have to propel you past your own front door if that is where you want to keep them. Gee, that reminds me of Dorothy at the end of the movie talking to Auntie Em about never needing to look any further than her own back yard. Well, I love you little mrs." - Mom

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"modern housewife"

When you google image search "modern housewife" this is the second image shown... I about peed myself laughing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

if you're bored it's because you're boring

Having a witty Mother was a major irritation, till I moved out and was able to witness her sarcasm from the outside looking in... then it was hilarious. I am now quite fond of her silly responses and sayings, and have memorized some of her famous motto's to repeat back to my children one day, when and if we are blessed with them. For example if any of my mother's six children ever complained "I'm bored", Mom would simply reply "There is no such thing as being bored, unless you are boring, and you are not boring!" So there it was, buck up! Make something of your free time, and be grateful you have it! Use your imagination! Have fun!

One of the most challenging aspects of being a stay-at-home wife today is the boredom factor combined with the loneliness factor. This seems incredibly strange given that sixty years ago housewives moved non-stop (it shows in their dress sizes). What has changed so much? Modern appliances? Our strange and almost eerie dependence on processed food that makes cooking "easy" and "fast"? The TV sucking hours away from our time till our brains feel like mush? General laziness? Well all of these could be to blame, but I beg to differ it is something far less severe or political.

The answer is... being intentional.
We have forgotten that we have to make the choice to keep a clean house, read to our children, have lunch with friends, make a fancy dinner, and be fit. This is not Bewitched or any other magical T.V. sitcom where dinner is automatically on time, the house is always clean, homework done, and the Mom is a size 2 with the wiggle of her nose! You have to be intentional with making use of your time, and fulfilling your role (which does not mean taking four hour naps in the middle of the day and making your kids do all the housework). Below are two ways to jump-start this...

1. Be intentional about having friends and maintaining long-distance friendships...
I learned this from a sweet friend of mine who just moved here, after I had been in Northern Virginia for over a year with no close friends. It is important that we go out of our way to schedule time with other women and call friends who we might have lost touch with. I have found, especially for the housewife without children or the Empty-Nester, this is an incredibly important lesson. My close friend and I make it a point to leave our house at least once a day, and to also make sure we are getting social interaction daily, with people besides young children and our husbands. Some of you may be laughing at this, but I will say that even when I was working full time, I was in a very isolated environment and very lonely. It is for your benefit to try as hard as you can, almost by trial and error, to have at least one or two close woman in your life that you can meet with on a weekly or even daily basis. This will help combat depression, and laziness!

Call a friend and ask,"What are you wearing today?"
Perfect example being intentional. ha-ha.

2. Be intentional about your schedule...
Have a "to-do" list and a set schedule for your week. Yes these are two different things. My daily "to-do" list includes: exercise, morning devotion, errands, chores, and other things specific to that day. My weekly schedule is different in that it is a SET schedule for specific days to do major household chores like laundry, moping the kitchen, scrubbing the bathroom down, and any other special projects. Make a list of all the special projects you would like to do from cleaning out the attic to finishing your wedding scrapbook. My husband and I also set a weekly date night, and I would highly encourage married couples to do this even if it's at home. Make an effort to disconnect from technology and spend time "eyeball to eyeball" during this time. The weekly schedule was a great suggestion I found via and it has been amazing for me not to feel pressure to clean the whole house in one day! It also makes making my daily to do list easier when because I already know what I have going on that day. This model is great also for working women, and I found it was the only way for me to truly stay on-top of keeping an orderly home while juggling full-time work and responsibilities.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"a smart gal with a college degree"

Well I can't say I am surprised by the comment I received from my cousin Caitlin. I knew I would have to address this very comment at some point. So I want to respond to Caitlin's comment because I know it will be a common response to this blog, after all Caitlin is a beautiful, hard-working, hip twenty-something herself! Caitlin wrote:

" i love you to death and support everything to do but you're a smart gal with a college degree! you don't even want to have a career or anything since you paid for all that school? you always wanted to be involved in music, and i know as life change so does your desires and i know i can't relate to this housewife desire yet...but i don't know. i dont think i could let something i've spent my whole life waiting and studying for. thoughts?"

Let me start off by saying that this sort of comment always takes me back to the women's movement, a movement that was about giving women choices. Today it seems like there is only one choice: Career first, family second (if at all)... try to "have it all". Women who choose to be housewives are now looked down upon by women who choose to be professional full-time working women, and the banter goes back and forth. This isn't an "us" and "them" blog, but society has truly turned women against women. We should be encouraging one another and celebrating one another's choices, because this is really the essence of what being a women is and what the movement was for! Supporting your sisters whether they choose to be a CEO of a company, a teacher, or a wife and mother! Yes, I earned my college degree and I am glad I did! Education is incredibly important! Back in the "old days", and even before that, women had to educate themselves, but not to aspire to be greater than their male counterparts, but to enrich their own lives, the lives of their children, and be an influence on their husbands. Women today should not take this role of influence lightly. This blog was not created to convince all young women their only place is in the home, which was what women up until the 1960's were told (and I am not trying to awaken that lie again). This blog is to encourage and educate women (like myself) who have decided that their calling is in the home, while also addressing the social stigma that goes with being a housewife.

Second, having a college degree today does not equal having a career. When I graduated with my business degree I was surprised to learn that I was under-qualified for jobs I really wanted and would need to invest another $100,000 in a masters degree. The master's degree is the 80's Bachelor Degree. In terms of my music, I am still writing, still creating, still exploring! The business I went to study was far too corrupt and also in a major downturn because of the digital era. I don't need to live in Nashville or work for a publishing company to be a songwriter. In fact, now that I don't work, I get to play guitar and write everyday for hours at a time. It is wonderful. Art for the sake of art is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

real housewives with real lives

Once upon a time, women took pride in getting married and being the caretakers of their home and family. Women learned how to cook everything from scratch and did not rely on Hamburger Helper to feed their brood. Any twenty-something woman in 1950 would know how to iron, do dishes, laundry, vacuum, all while taking care of her personal appearance and hygiene. Now, fast-forward to this twenty-something generation of women, which I am a card-carrying member, and we have to learn all this on YouTube.

I am not poo-pooing the twenty-something women that don't learn to do their own laundry till college or couldn't properly clean their own bathroom if their life depended on it; after all, it isn't their fault. In fact, the older generations gripe about our "out of control" Gen-Y when they themselves have made little effort to pass on their skills or wisdom about running a home.

As exciting as it is that women now have the potential to attain jobs that pay as much men, and often do, it isn't exciting that we look more and more like them, and we often emasculate them in the process. Yet, looking feminine, knowing how to sew a dress for yourself, and cooking a gourmet meal is as valuable in America as speaking Pig-Latin, unless you turn simple hobbies and pleasantries into all consuming career aspirations and dreams. For example, if you learned to sew when you are thirteen, and showed promise, in today's world you would feel a mound of pressure to then continue on to design school and be a top stylist or famous designer. Not that this is a bad thing, but something is wrong if a paradigm creates a culture in which people are obsessed with selfish-ambition and fame. It's bad when young women who admit at an early age they desire to be married and have children are looked down upon, even though it's part of our nature to desire companionship and to nurture children.

Maybe I am not being fair... maybe it isn't like this all over the country. But in Northern Virginia you should just see the looks I get when I tell someone my age, and that I am Housewife.

The reason I am starting this blog is to create a discussion about the controversy of being a Housewife and also to explore the ins and outs of this role, from hosting a dinner party to removing stains from your All-Clad! Hollywood and the media portray Housewives as "Desperate" (i.e. promiscuous, rich, petty, greedy, crazy, neurotic, alcoholics, work-aholics, plastic, gossipy, arrogant, lazy, gold-diggers, etc.). This is NOT reality. It's entertaining to see those rich women in L.A. and Atlanta wearing clothes way too tight, running around in their mansions and expensive cars, but let's be honest... that's not how life is for most of us! Being a Housewife is not a status thing! It is one of the most humble lifestyles with the greatest rewards a woman could dream. And it's a life completely misunderstood, sometimes even feared, and often belittled. I hope you will enjoy reading, learning while I learn, and going along with me while I uncover many aspects of being a Housewife with a life!