Let’s Live True~ Express yourself

Beauty is in the eye of the Disorder

Celebrity news, reality TV, and Toddler & Tiaras. Wait, did I just add toddler to this list? Yes, the need to be the fairest of them all begins with toddlers. There really is a reality show Toddlers and Tiaras, which shows pageant mom and dads dressing up their children and encouraging the tots to be the best of best. But this is not a post to attack the show; just the message it sends to young girls and the population in general. Everyday the media bombards the general public with images of celebrity photos which have been either airbrushed or photo shopped to perfection. These perfect images are then shown to impressionable teens and young adults, who wish to emulate the people they are seeing in the photos. Reality shows such as Jersey Shore, projecting image as it’s main focus adds to the burden of being beautiful in today’s world. Unfortunately, some young people and even older people may fall into the trap of trying to keep up with these unattainable images.

According to an article from the Academic Psychiatry Journal 2006 in a 1994 survey 40% of nine year olds have been on a diet. A diet at nine years old? To me that’s unbelievable and sad. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders states,”47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures, 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape, and eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.” This means that more than half of young teen girls are trying to emulate the images they see in the magazine and other media.

What prompted me to write this blog was an MSN Now: What’s Trending article titled, Pic of actress without make up reveals blemishes, real beauty. The article shows actress AnnaLynne McCord of the popular show “90210” with her makeup on and without makeup; blemishes and all. The difference is astounding and empowering. McCord states how she woke up one morning and was over Hollywood’s perfection requirement. I say, Bravo to AnnaLynne McCord for helping to turn the tide and working to empower men and women to love themselves as they are. Kudos should also be given to Vogue which announced it would not feature underaged girls or girls with eating disorders. The website thechive.com in a post titled, The Louis Vuitton models pose without makeup.Still hot?, shows 40 images of Louis Vuitton models without makeup.

Checking out the pictures, the models look like any other young girl out on the street, except some of the model looked as if they tried getting their lips plumped up. I could only envision actress Lisa Rinna before her lip reduction surgery. Also, many of the models looked dis-proportioned with large heads and small thin bodies. I believe when actors, actress, models, and others in the entertainment business speak out against unnatural body images it means taking a step towards eliminating eating disorders. I too have fallen into the “fat trap”, and caused myself much suffering trying to keep up with images put out by the media by fad dieting and excessive exercise. Recently while driving to work a song came on the radio by a boy band called, One Direction. Ever heard of them? I love their song, What Makes You Beautiful. The lyrics are simply put:

If only you saw what I can see
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know
Oh oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful
Oh oh
That’s what makes you beautiful

So it seems that  wisdom can comes out of the mouth of babes. It is my deepest hope that AnnaLynne McCord’s efforts are not in vain. There are too many young lives that need to know the truth about body image, and that is no one is perfect, not even celebrities.

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Kim Kardashian. Image from http://www.safm.com.au/

Here more entertainers who have embraced the natural look during a photo shoot and websites about eating disorders.

Paula Patton Poses With No Make Up For People’s Most Beautiful Women Issue

Jaime Lee Curtis Hates Hollywood’s “conspiracy” Against Women

Eating Disorder Coalition- Facts About Eating Disorders: What Research Shows

Eating Disorders in a Disordered Culture: Stories Told

Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

May is designated for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I am happy to be a part of US ARMY Garrison Hohenfels event on Thursday May 24, 2012. I cannot wait for everyone to taste my Pad Thai.

           Over the years Asian American and Pacific Islanders have contributed to shaping United States history. Many Asian/Pacific Islander Americans fought in wars against oppression and have been loyal allies through many of America‘s long hard years. Click on this link to find out more about Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

         At the API event anyone who attends can experience the culture and values of the Asian/Pacific Islander lifestyle. The event displays the cultures of each country participating, as well as having samples of food and cultural entertainment. Check your local area newspapers or google where an API event is happening near you.

Amsterdam or Bust ヅ

The drive to Frankfurt Airport went quickly. The three boys slept just about the whole way there. We arrived somewhat early and I had a beer in the restaurant while the boys looked around. The Frankfurt Airport was vast and full of shops in which you can buy souvenirs or a designer handbag. When it was finally time to board the plane we were all so excited. I have been to the wonderful city of Amsterdam many times and always I find something new to see there.

When we arrived at the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam the rain was drizzling on us, but we did not let that dampen our spirits. We quickly wound our way past other arriving passengers and headed to get our baggage. We were on an adventure and wanted to start it as soon as possible. We hired a taxi to take us to the Hem Hotel/ Hostel which is split into two parts: a hotel and a hostel. The hotel is not bad and cost a little more but has more creature comforts; while the hostel part of the Hem is much smaller and for the person or group who will not spend too much time in the room. We stayed in the four person hostel room, the room was very small to bed for people but bunk-beds took care of that. It could have been cleaner but I was not going to argue when we were only paying €20 a night.

After putting our things away the boys and I decided we were going to head out to eat. Not far from our hotel we found a greatly priced restaurant with delicious authentic Thai cooking called Thai Xpress. It was the best Thai food I have had since I moved overseas. Even the boys were a big fan of the restaurant. We tried a couple more times to eat there for lunch but the restaurant is only open from 16:00 to 22:00. Oh well, at least I know where to go when I make another visit to Amsterdam.

After our bellies were filled with good food the boys and I head out to the center of Amsterdam to peruse the shops and delicacies that Amsterdam could offer. We took the tram ( this is like a bus which moves on a track) which cost €2,70 per ride but there are day tickets for around €7,50 as well as a weekend pass. We looked at smart shops, souvenir stores, and eyed the coffee shops. We rode the tram to the Leidseplein Square, one of the busiest squares Amsterdam. The Leidseplein is where you will find the famous Bulldog Coffeeshop and restaurant as well other great places to eat or just have a drink. If you’re in for a little comedy Boom Chicago is right next door to the Bulldog. The picturesque square is scattered with  tables setup outside the café and restaurants filled with people drinking their cappuccino, beer, or imbibing in their favorite strain of wacky tobaccy. The square is not filled with only bohemian or hippy flower children, but a variety of people from all over the world including families with small children.

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The Bulldog Coffeeshop and restaurant-bar located in the Leidseplein Square. It is one of the few scattered through out the city of Amsterdam.

Finally, although we were a bit damp and the weather had turned chiller nothing could dampen our first night in Amsterdam. Of course, there is more adventure to come…so stay tuned for more. ヅImage

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the Air!

It’s that time of year when the snow has melted away and the flowers are about to bloom,even in

Have a Dutch experience…get on a bike and ride through the streets pass the houses set along the canals of Amsterdam. It’s an awesome experience and one you’ll never forget.

Germany. It’s a time when a person can step out of their house and feel alive again. It’s no wonder that baby animals are made in the Spring. It’s also a time when there is a week of freedom from school, work, and other worldly pressures of life. My second son will be graduating high school this year and does not want to go to the senior trip.So I decided we could take a trip to Amsterdam where there is fun to be had all around. The Netherlands have a laid back atmosphere which engages you regardless of what type of experience you are expecting to have when visiting. Amsterdam is well known for the city where Coffee Houses are abound, a place where marijuana is sold freely and the mostly infamous Red Light District. 


But Coffee Houses and the Red Light District are not the only things of interest in Amsterdam. There are the famous canals, beautiful buildings, and many museums which exhibit artworks from the most famous, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, to artist of today. Anne Frank’s home in which her and her family hid during the war sits ideally along one of the canals. The home of Anne Frank looks as any other building on the canals and without Anne Frank’s diary we may never have known the people who hid in within the rooms, praying and hoping that they would never be caught by German soldiers and sent to a concentration camp.This home connected to one of the saddest stories of our history sits among other buildings which may house homeowners, stores, and other businesses; never standing out except for the fact that Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank gave the house as a museum, so that other’s may remember the plight he and his family endured, as well as millions of other people worldwide. 

I am excited to be visiting the bustling city once again, which seems so alive and wakes up even the most dormant of people. I will keep updates as I travel for my three night, four day stay. I want to let my readers see and feel in their mind how a trip to this special place can make you smile and feel like a new and refreshed person when you get back to your own bustling and busy life. Until next time…auf wiedersehen.  

In Constant Dream State

ImageEver since I was a child I have always been a big daydreamer. My imagination would run wild and it didn’t help that I loved watching shows such as Sesame Street and the Electric Company (Remember this? HEY YOU GUYS!!!). These shows promoted imagination like it was a prescription drug that would cure-all your woes. When I grew older and in my late teens a friend of mine would comment, “Bu, you’re an idealist and I am a realist.” I would laugh at this and I suppose that is why we balance each other out so well. Books would be another way I would carry my mind away from every day annoyances. Before I knew it I started writing my own short stories.

One summer I tested my writing skills by getting a Spiral notebook and proceeded to involve my sister’s and my favorite band Duran Duran into our lives. My sisters and I each liked one of the band members. My  sister Lina’s favorite was Simon LeBon. I remember my sister Julie and I felt it would be funny if we told her Simon had died in a boating accident ( Simon was an avid sailor). Oh, the wailing that my sister emitted at the thought of her beloved dead at the bottom of the sea. It was quite difficult to keep ourselves from laughing. Boy, was Lina mad!

That was then and this is now. Now I am a grown woman; a wife and mother. I still find myself daydreaming and coming up with stories in my head. There are times I dream a whole story line while and when I wake up I feel as if I was really there. Unfortunately, daydreaming is not doing and that is the bandwagon I need to be on. I should take Nike’s advice and just do it. I have a finished novel and it has been finished for at least three years. Yet, I still have to get it published.

My daydreaming has left procrastinating to the to the point that procrastination has become my enemy. You see dreams will get you started on the path you want to take, but it won’t get you where you need to be if you don’t do something about it. I wrote this story when I entered into the annual NanoWriMo contest which has writers write a 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. I am happy to say that I took the challenge in 2008 and won. It was a great time in my life and that how I came up with my novel, Voices of Clara. I finally found a place to publish my works and now it’s time to get out of that dream state and just do it. Writing this blog is a way of getting me started and I feel the writing bug waking up inside me.

Remember to always keep dreaming and to make your dreams worthwhile you have to make some of them come true.

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