My Views on the OW Movement

When I first heard about the OW movement, it was in regards to them asking to be admitted to the Priesthood session of General Conference in Fall of 2013. At the time, there was a lot of backlash, but I was not as quick to give in to the “OH THEY’RE BEING DIFFERENT, LET’S HATE THEM” aspect of it all.

After some research, I felt a few ways:

  1. My heart goes out to the women who are struggling with their worth and place in God’s eyes.
  2. I applaud the way these women are not afraid of asking questions.
  3. There is imperfection on both sides.

To be more specific, I recognize that women not having the priesthood is a huge issue for a lot of Mormon women. It’s hard not to feel oppressed or unfairly represented when all of the people who have the final say about everything are male.

If I were to break any huge commandments that would require me to have a disciplinary counsel, I would have to stand in front of a panel of men and have them judge me for my sins. Even acts as simple as confessing to the Bishop can be excruciatingly uncomfortable without a woman around.

If you look at it from a perspective of “rank,” all the positions of “power” are given to men. Men run the church on most levels. When this is brought up, often times these men will say “well we created a special program just for you,” meaning the Relief Society, but the rebuttal comes across demeaning and patronizing–as if the RS was meant as a bread crumb thrown to us to stop our fussing.

It is very easy to view the priesthood and the OW movement as black and white. Men have the priesthood, women don’t. Men can do this, women can’t.

But we’ve been told we’re equals our whole lives, right? So HOW COME?

I’m sure it’s obvious that I’ve had these thoughts myself. I’ve had nights where I had to come to terms, frankly, with being a woman. I imagine these fellow sisters of mine in the same hard place, but unable to find solace or answers. When I look at it in that light, my heart aches for them and I want nothing more than to see them receive the same answers that I’ve felt affirmed to me.

That’s why when I first heard about the OW movement, I was supportive of these women attempting to make themselves heard by the brethren about the idea of ordaining women to the priesthood.

But then conference came and went, and the brethren did not announce that women would be getting the priesthood.

Then the next conference came in the Spring of 2014, and the OW movement was stronger and in full force. At this point, I became confused.

Didn’t they receive their answer, I wondered? As I looked into the movement, I found that Kate Kelly and her group did not seem to be saying, “brethren, please ask God if the time is right for us to have the priesthood” as I once thought, but rather seemed to be demanding “brethren, ask God to let us have the priesthood and we won’t rest until the answer is yes.” To me, that second part of the equation is what eventually changed my opinion on the movement.

I am all for asking questions, but at what point does it pass the point of coming to our Heavenly Father in earnest and sincere desire, and turn to rebellious distrust of God’s appointed leaders?

I’ll admit: when I saw that Kate Kelly was being threatened with excommunication on grounds of apostasy, I had to look up the term on lds.org. Here’s something I found from the Teachings of Brigham Young:

Whenever there is a disposition manifested in any of the members of this Church to question the right of the President of the whole Church to direct in all things, you see manifested evidences of apostasy.

To me, the persistence of the OW movement is proof of this in itself. I am of the opinion that Kate Kelly is either in denial, unaware or simply downplaying for her own benefit the power of her movement’s ability to draw people away from the church (as opposed to strengthening their faith). I’ve found that anything that detracts from building up the gospel is against it. Kate Kelly’s OW movement does not build up the church in my eyes, yet they say they’re only asking questions.

Asking questions is never wrong. Sheri Dew said this:

A question posed against a backdrop of doubt and criticism—i.e., “I don’t understand thus and such, so the Church must not be true”—can be debilitating, as it negates faith and leaves a person unable to be guided by the Spirit to learn.

On the other hand, the same question asked in an environment of faith—“I don’t understand thus and such, and I wonder what the Lord will teach me about that question”—demonstrates faith in the Lord and hope that at some point an answer will be made clear. Questions asked in an environment of faith unlock the power of God to answer them.

From what I can see, the first part of that quote seems to go along with the mindset of many in the OW movement when we should be striving to ask questions with the mindset of the latter half of the quote.

Beyond whether or not apostasy was ever committed, I find that the OW movement is simply a misunderstanding of the priesthood power, coming from both men and women.

To expound upon that, the difference between men and women where the priesthood is concerned is not “men have it, women don’t.” To me, it is “men hold the keys, we all have the authority.”

In the Handbook 2: Administering the Church, it states:

Priesthood keys are the authority God has given to priesthood leaders to direct, control, and govern the use of His priesthood on earth. The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold its keys. Those who hold priesthood keys have the right to preside over and direct the Church within a jurisdiction.

Joseph F. Smith said:

While the sisters have not been given the Priesthood, it has not been conferred upon them, that does not mean that the Lord has not given unto them authority. … A person may have authority given to him, or a sister to her, to do certain things in the Church that are binding and absolutely necessary for our salvation.

And finally, this wonderful quote from Elder Oaks in the spring 2014 conference:

We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties.

This says it all. When I am the Ward Choir Director and I lead my choir, I am leading them under the authority of the priesthood, as conferred to me through being set apart by those that hold the keys. Same goes for every calling in the church. It has become clear to me that those who follow and support the OW movement do so because they are too hung up on the “he has, but I don’t have” part of it and do not realize that God’s House is a House of Order, and roles of the priesthood–as far as who holds it–is simply a matter of administrative duties.

I truly believe that all positions and appointments in the church are equal, but because our God is not chaotic, there has to be someone to do the paperwork and who is designated to hold the reins (or keys).

Perhaps it helps to think of them as janitors. They have keys to some rooms, and you can go in all the rooms and use what’s in them, but someone has to let you in, right? Someone has to keep the key ring! Are janitors better than you because they have the keys? Of course not!

If we dwell on the “he has, but I don’t have” aspect of religion (or life), we will never be able to truly appreciate what we have.

God made men and women as helps that are meet for each other. One was not created as subservient. I think there’s something powerful about the fact that we can only reach the highest degree of the celestial kingdom as a pair. To me that says that God created us as a whole bunch of halves.

I find I can liken it to an apple being cut diagonally: one half has the stem, one half has the base, and both share parts of the core. Each half is not the same, but it is equal in weight and in worth.

Whenever issues like these arise in the gospel, I find it helpful to go back to basic principles about which I do have a testimony; namely, that God loves me just as much as he loves everyone else.

If that is true, how could it be true that I am worth less than men?

We know God loves us equally and sees us as infinite and as beautiful as his male creations.

If that is true, then how could he withhold his greatest power on this Earth from us?

Obviously, he wouldn’t. That means that either a) God does not love women as much as men, or b) we don’t understand our ability to use and partake in the priesthood.

Logic and simple scripture study dictate the latter must be true.

My final words to anyone who may be struggling with this issue are to please pray about it. Read what the leaders have said and have faith that they are inspired to lead God’s church on this Earth. If you don’t have a testimony of that, please find it. Seek for truth and don’t reject the answer if it doesn’t match what you wanted it to be, even if it threatens everything you ever thought you knew and your identity of self.

And because I can’t manage to leave on my own words, here is a great chapter of scripture from the Bible that ought to bring both comfort and understanding, Matthew 7.

Lipstick Diaries pt. VII – Red Velvet

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I’ve seen this pin floating around for a while, and just recently decided it was something I absolutely had to get: Lime Crime’s Velvetine Collection: Red Velvet.

So I got it, and I LOVE IT. It’s so velvety.

One complaint: I’m obviously just an idiot and assumed that since it was matte, it was a non-transfer stain–but NOPE. Learned otherwise when I got a bunch of red all over everything.

Also, it’s a little difficult to apply with the brush that’s given. I used a little lip brush for better accuracy.

Final tip: make sure your lips are super hydrated before you put it on, because it can feather otherwise.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Tinder, Am I Right?

I wrote this song months ago, and just finally decided to put this up on the Internet. It’s not the most perfect recording job (by any means), but I just really wanted to discuss my love-hate with Tinder.

For anyone that doesn’t know, Tinder’s an app on iOS/Android that is basically dating within 50 or so miles of you. You can like or dislike someone’s photo, and they never know unless you both like each other’s and then it’s a match and you can talk to each other blah blah blah.

I got Tinder ages ago because my bestie Katrin had it and loved it and I was like–attention from random strangers? YES. And I ate it up for a while–then it made me feel depressed because I realized how superficial it was, and it’s been on-again-off-again ever since.

If anyone is wondering, been on a handful of dates: one of which is now an inside joke among me and my guy friends because of how ridiculous the guy acted.

Then I made a song about all the first lines I’ve gotten from guys when they discover we’re matched together.

Being in Utah, I imagine the first lines elsewhere can be quite a bit sketchier–so please do share if so.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

How To: Get out of a rut

I know I’m not the only one who feels stuck sometimes: like I’m not moving forward, stagnant… some days I just wake up feeling gross, fat, alone, etc etc like every other human being. The point is not that we all feel this way occasionally (although it’s true and doesn’t mean you have low self-esteem because you don’t always wake up like this), but that it’s possible to change your attitude and feel better.

The following is a list of things that make me feel better and ready to face the day. Any combination of these (or none of them) may work for you. Here we go:

  1. Get out of bed as soon as you wake up. I have a tendency to want to stay in bed all morning. Sometimes it’s fine. Sometimes it makes me feel gross. Get up as soon as you wake up, then make the bed immediately. This will make you feel better.
  2. Shower and shave. There’s something so calming about cleanliness. Shaving always makes me feel so clean!
  3. Go somewhere. Going out with friends is a way for me to feel a part of society and not alone. You never want to go, because it’s easier to stay at home and wallow, but make yourself and you won’t (probably) regret it!
  4. Go somewhere alone. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house. I recommend taking a book to a cafe.
  5. Get a good workout. Just one good workout will improve your spirits. I mean a good one, though–where you push yourself and really try!
  6. Try a new routine. Mix it up! Try a different perfume/lotion/shampoo. Don’t just do things you always do in a different order (although that would help too), try something new. Add a jog to your morning routine. Buy new foods. Eat something different for breakfast! On that note:
  7. Cook a meal. Even if it’s just for you, there’s something so rewarding about creating a beautiful and delicious meal from a few ingredients.
  8. Take a chance. Doesn’t matter what it is. Do something not just new, but that you would never do normally. Ask a guy on a date instead of waiting to be asked. Wear that dress you never thought you could pull off. Be daring, darling.
  9. Put the phone down. Take just an afternoon/evening to turn off your phone and enjoy no electronics. Really try to connect to the people around you.
  10. Smile. Find something to laugh about. Don’t have anything? Fake it. You’ll feel it soon enough.

My favorite quote when I’m feeling a bit depressed is something I saw on a tweet from Lea Michele. Her boyfriend died recently, so I found the advice especially meaningful:

Fullscreen capture 12282013 52917 PM.bmpThis is one of my favorite quotes. It hit me so hard, I wrote it on my mirror! There are a million things you can do to shake the bad feelings away. Find your own way of doing things and make yourself happy! <3

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

 

Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day III}

Thursday

Overall, I felt good! Around dinner, I started to notice a lack of energy and the gym felt harder than usual; however, that could be because I haven’t been to the gym in a week. Oops…

breakfast – 10:00 am

Rice Krispies cereal with soy milk and bananas. I had time to make biscuits, but I didn’t have any margarine that didn’t contain whey (and obviously can’t use butter). I thought it was going to taste weird, but I could honestly barely taste the difference between regular milk and soy milk. I’m so glad I bought that Silk last night!

Snack – 12:00 PM

A few chips with salsa and a square of chocolate. Around this time, I was super excited about the vegan possibilities and decided to go grocery shopping!

Veganism

I bought tofu (nervous about it), vegan “cream cheese,” hummus mix, falafel mix, lots of veggies vegan wonton wrappers (!!), pasta, whole wheat bread, and pita bread. I, upsettingly, could NOT find ANY egg substitute! It was so frustrating! Granted, I was at a regular ol’ grocery store, but being vegan shouldn’t mean I have to shop at special stores. Ugh. I mean, they had tons of vegan stuff, but NO egg substitute! Infuriating.

lunch – 3:30 pm

I had sort of a late lunch, but it was so worth it! I made the falafel / hummus mixes and enjoyed a savory Mediterranean meal!

First, I made the falafel balls according to the package instructions, then prepared a piece of pita bread with a tablespoon of both the hummus and my vegan cream cheese.

Then, I cut up some tomato, lettuce, and cucumber. I added it all to the pita bread, folded it like a taco, and ate up!

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I was so excited at how yummy it was! I felt like I was in another country. It’s so fun to have so many different types of food.

Not-related Adventure of the Day:

Around 5:30, I went to a master class / open rehearsal with violinist Joshua Bell. The friend I went with is getting his masters in music and raved, giggled, and skipped with excitement as the thought of us getting to see (in his words) “the world’s best violinist” for free. I was skeptical. Bell started out by saying it was just a sound check and he probably wasn’t going to play very much. Then, he busted out the full Devil’s Trill by Tartini! He played the whole thing! Oh my gosh, it was a dream. Do yourself a favor and listen to it:

When he finished, he just sort of shrugged. Shrugged! I’ll tell you something, I went in not super ready to be impressed, but I quickly was won over. He was so non-assuming. I also heard he did an experiment. I saw the article back when it was posted, but didn’t read it. I just finished reading it. You should too. He also answered a ton of questions from the audience and gave fantastic responses. I was so inspired. I even took notes.

dinner – 8:00 pm

A bean and rice burrito was my dinner. I was going to make a tofu stir fry, but I wasn’t all that hungry. I also munched on some carrots while doing my homework!

nutrition information

Grade of A- (up from yesterday’s C+!).

  • 25.9% fat
  • 12.5 % protein
  • 61.6% carbs

According to USDA recommendations, I had too little vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. I bought iron vitamins at the store today, but I had almost enough iron in my food, so I didn’t want to take a pill and get too much. I don’t know if that’s a thing, but I didn’t want to risk it.

Conclusion

I went grocery shopping, to the gym, cooked my first truly vegan meal, and got to see one of the world’s best violinists perform for free, and talk about music and truth. I’d say a pretty good day!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Blast from the Past – Me in Selfies

I was going through old files, and can we please look at how much I’ve grown. It’s astonishing to see how young I looked! Also, apparently I was doing selfies way before I got Instagram.

2006

February 2006, original editing.
February 2006, original editing.

2007

This was January 2007, and one of my first attempts at a photo shoot.
This was January 2007, and one of my first attempts at an “artsy” photo shoot. This is the original editing I did as well.
Same shoot
Same shoot
March 2007, my prom dress. Original editing.
March 2007, my prom dress. Original editing.
If this doesn't describe being 15-years-old, I don't know what does. Original editing, minus the collage.
April 2007. If this doesn’t describe being 15-years-old, I don’t know what does. Original editing, minus the collage.
The amount of photos like these in the early years is WAY TOO HIGH. Duck face and peace symbols? With BOTH HANDS? Hello, 2007.
The amount of photos like these in the early years is WAY TOO HIGH. Duck face and peace symbols? With BOTH HANDS? Hello, 2007. Re-edited for quality.
July 2007, a couple weeks after I turned 16. This was at Governor's School (6 week summer program for gifted students, I went for music). This is where I started branching out with my style, hair & makeup...thank goodness.
July 2007, a couple weeks after I turned 16. This was at Governor’s School (6 week summer program for gifted students, I went for music). This is where I started branching out with my style, hair & makeup…thank goodness. Original edit.
August 2007. I've always loved this photo for whatever reason. It's sooo early 2000s.
August 2007. I’ve always loved this photo for whatever reason. It’s sooo early 2000s. Original edit.

2008

May 2008. I had way more freckles back then. I was also obsessed with my eyes.
A month before my 17th birthday in May 2008. I had way more freckles back then. I was also obsessed with my eyes. Original edit.
October 2008, I borrowed my mom's shirt and jacket from the 80s.
October 2008, I borrowed my mom’s shirt and jacket from the 80s.

2009

One of the only photos I took of myself in 2009. The rest are all taken by friends. This was probably the only year that ever happened.
One of the only photos I took of myself in 2009. The rest are all taken by friends. This was probably the only year that ever happened.

2010

December 2010. Apparently all of my pictures during this year were taken by others, too. As we can see, I start to go a little more out-of-the-box and so begin my string of out-doing myself in selfies.
December 2010. Apparently all of my pictures during this year were taken by others, too. As we can see, I start to go a little more out-of-the-box and so begin my string of out-doing myself in selfies.

2011-2013

I started the blog in 2011, so most of my selfie-shoots since then are contained within these archives. See some of my favorites here, here, and here.

Of course, who would I be without adding a recent shot, taken today:

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Hey, PS, I’m going vegan for a 2-week challenge! Check out what I’ve done so far here!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day II}

Wednesday

Overall, it felt like a normal day! I got tons of sleep and I think the snacks helped a lot. I do think my lack of energy and terrible mood yesterday afternoon was due to lack of protein. I was determined not to make that mistake today.

Breakfast – 10:00 am

Oatmeal & OJ again, this time without bananas. I was going to make vegan biscuits, but I didn’t have enough time. I think I’m going to make some tonight to have for tomorrow.

snack – 12:30 pm

Graham crackers with peanut butter, and a crystal light lemonade. This was filling and delicious, exactly what I needed.

lunch – 2:00 pm

I ate out again, since I hate money, apparently. I got Noodles & Company Indonesian Peanut Saute.

Noodles and Co Indonesian Peanut Saute

It was absolutely divine! I got a half-size, and couldn’t finish it all. It was spicy and delicious and completely vegan! I wish I would’ve realized I could add tofu, because I’ve really wanted to try tofu! Oh, well. Plenty of time.

Snack – 4:00 pm

A handful of carrots were my snack since I didn’t get enough vitamin A yesterday.

dinner – 7:00 pm

I finished my Noodles & Co (so yummy). I really wasn’t all that hungry by this time. I totally had energy today.

Adventure of the day: I went to pick up a friend’s car from the shop, and when I got back to his house, I was faced with a dilemma:

Chocolate or mac n cheese

Mac n’ cheese, and chocolate! I’ve been very reluctant to tell my closest friends and family that I’m going vegan for two weeks. This is mostly because I’m dreading getting the “what?!? WHY?!??” and experiencing all the negativity people give to those who are vegetarian or (especially) vegan.

So I didn’t tell my friend that I couldn’t eat his mac n’ cheese because it had dairy, but instead told him it was because I had already eaten–which was true, but I probably would’ve accepted the offer if I wasn’t going vegan. He then broke off a piece of chocolate and handed it to me, then proceeded into the kitchen to finish cooking his dinner. I said thank you and just held the chocolate until he walked away and I could discreetly read the ingredients. As I was turning over the packaging, I decided that if it wasn’t vegan, I’d simply slip the chunk back, confident he wouldn’t notice. Oh, the lengths I’ll go to in order to avoid being teased for going vegan for two weeks (and avoid answering why). Thankfully, it was a 68% dark, with only 3 ingredients: cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter—aka: Vegan Approved!

I enjoyed and savored that chocolate, suppressing a happy chuckle upon realizing I could eat it. When I got home, I was motivated by my ability to refuse non-vegan food! I went to the grocery store on the corner and picked up some Silk Soy Milk, then made myself a vegan chocolate chip cookie in a mug. It was delicious, and here’s the recipe I used (click for the website):

Vegan chocolate chip cake in a mug recipe

Nutrition information

I thought for sure I would do well today and get enough protein, but I didn’t (only a C+) and I ate too much fat.

  • 35.6% fat
  • 9.2% protein
  • 55% carbs

USDA guidelines said not only did I consume too much fat, but I didn’t get enough protein, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, or potassium. I realized that my calcium vitamins have Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in them, which is derived from animals and therefore NOT vegan. It was the first thing I consumed yesterday, which means since I had my first vegan meal (yesterday’s oatmeal), I have not broken the rules once! Good for me. It was close, though.

conclusion

I did crave chicken today again. And I found myself dreading having to plan for what I was going to eat–but it’s a good thing: one of the biggest reason’s I’m doing this is to stop myself from mindlessly eating! I have to pay so much more attention now. I’m excited to do it again tomorrow (but more healthy)!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day I}

See yeterday’s introduction to the Vegan Challenge

Tuesday

Breakfast – 10:00 am

Oatmeal with fresh bananas and a glass of OJ. When I finished eating, I felt very satisfied. Yum. Who knew veganism includes foods I already love to eat.

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Lunch – 2:00 PM

Kneaders Veggie Avocado Sandwich (no cheese or mayo/sauce), unsweetened applesauce, and a handful of almonds.

I have a lot of fresh avocados at the house, so I was going to make an avocado/tomato sandwich similar to the ones I survived off of when I lived in California. I was looking at the ingredients in the only bread I have–lo and behold, it was sweetened with honey! I packed myself an avocado anyway, as well as a cup of unsweetened applesauce and a serving of plain almonds. I knew it wasn’t going to be enough to hold me over all day, so I decided to see what vegan options I could get at fast food places.

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Kneaders, which is a bakery and cafe that runs along what I call the Mormon Belt (Idaho, Utah, and Arizona), has a veggie sandwich that I thought I’d try out. It was just under $5 for a 1/2 sandwich. I have to admit, I thought it looked underwhelming and like it was going to be incredibly unsatisfying, especially since I couldn’t get it with cheese or their “Kneaders Sauce,” which she was nice enough to inform me contains mayo.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was filling and delicious! The whole lunch was super nutritious and I didn’t feel it lacked anything.

Dinner – 7:30 pm

At around 4 pm, I felt like I had no energy and was exhausted. At 7, when I left work, I was completely worn out. I definitely don’t usually get this way. There are a few different possible reasons, but I made sure to get a big dose of protein for dinner just in case. I didn’t get home until really late, so I decided to forego a big dinner. Instead, I made a bean burrito with rice. I don’t know if it was because my body was craving protein or what, but it tasted better than the average bean burrito.

It was around this time I realized I can’t eat chocolate…or take my usual vitamins! I went to take my women’s health vitamin this morning, but there were way too many animal byproducts (gummy vitamins), so I had to settle with a calcium/magnesium/zinc vitamin pill instead.

daily nutrition report

I’m keeping track of the food I eat. It’s on a very helpful website that tells me how good for me each food item is.

I’ve used this site before, and a normal day for me has an average B+ rating, with a calorie distribution of:

  • 32.7% fat
  • 14.8 % protein
  • 50.7% carbs, and
  • 1.8% other (like vitamins).

Based on generic USDA values, I generally have too little fiber (15g out of 25g), calcium (.56g / 1g), potassium (1.4g / 4.7g), and iron (9.8g / 18g).

Today’s report gives an A rating for the day, with a calorie distribution of:

  • 27.2% fat
  • 9.9% protein
  • 61.7% carbs, and
  • 1.3% other.

Based on the USDA values, I didn’t get enough Vitamin A, potassium (1.9g / 4.7g), or iron (11g / 18g).

Conclusion

I didn’t have time for the gym tonight, but I feel too tired to go anyway. It’s only 8pm, so I’m not sure if that’s the diet talking or other factors; however, I did get “in the green” with all my nutrients for the USDA recommended values. That’s a success. Tomorrow, I’m going to pack higher protein snacks to eat between meals, because when I got hungry, all I could think about were some nice, juicy chicken nuggets.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Vegan for Two Weeks

One of my best friends was vegan for a while (now she’s 100% pescatarian for over a year) and said as a vegan, she’s never felt better. I already don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I’m in love with chicken and eggs and sushi. The thought of giving those up is anxiety-inducing.

Honestly, I just want to see if I can do this and stick it out for two weeks, then record my progress and feelings.

Two Week Vegan Challenge

So the plan is to eat healthy, vegan foods and still go about my daily activities. I want to see how this affects me. I want to keep track of my progress here. I’ll be posting the difference between my starting and ending weight, as well as my waist/hip measurements, and how I feel as far as energy and self-perception.

I’m not confident enough to post any actual numbers, but I’ll let you know my progress!

The Food

All my recipes are taken from PETA’s 2-week vegan meal plan. Politics aside, they know veganism like no one else. I decided to do this at 10:30 pm on a Monday, so my week starts on Tuesday (11/12/13) to Tuesday (11/26/13), two days before Thanksgiving.

The Feelings

I’m going to post every day in some fashion (vlog or traditional) to describe the meals I had, their recipes, and how I feel.

The Goals

I want to see if I can stick it out for two weeks, and if I can maintain my day-to-day routines with sufficient energy on a vegan diet.

The Research

I started with PETA’s guide to becoming vegan/vegetarian. I skipped all the celebrity propaganda, and pretty much only read pages 4-6, 14-22, because this post isn’t about addressing that part of veganism.

Vegans don’t eat any product that comes from an animal: meat, fish/shellfish, dairy products, eggs, or honey.

I need to check labels for common nonvegan ingredients, such as: casein, carmine/carminic acid, beeswax, gelatin, lactose (but lactic acid is mostly always vegan), lanolin, vitamin D3 (D2 is okay, though), and whey.

Vegan-approved proteins

  • whole grains
  • oatmeal
  • beans
  • peanut butter
  • brown rice
  • peas
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • soy milk
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • faux meats (this makes me nervous)

vegan-approved dairy alternatives (calcium)

  • broccoli
  • beans
  • “many leafy green vegetables”
  • almonds
  • soy milk
  • tofu
  • calcium-fortified orange juice

Other Stuff

“A majority of the foods you already eat are vegan, including many cookies, chips, breads, crackers, pastries, cereals, soups, and candies.” (p. 15)

Oh, good.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Back taking photos

It’s been a while, but I’ve finally gotten back into photography. It helps that my friend is making a CD and releasing an EP soon, so I had an excuse. Here are a couple of my favorites, edited with a (totally legal) copy of Photoshop:

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It was a lot of fun to do this shoot. We ended up with tons of really great shots. I can’t wait to post her song stuff when her website gets set up. It’s possible yours truly will even be harmonizing on one of the songs! Eee!

I did her hair and makeup. She recently cut like 20+ inches off to this adorable pixie. I used a straightener to curl the ends out a little and make it look a little messy-chic.

For the makeup, I followed this photo. I couldn’t find pigmented enough eyeshadow, so I ended up actually using lipstick! I still feel like a genius for that. There’s no eyeliner and just a little brown mascara, since her hair is naturally very light.

This is just a sneak peek, and the fully edited photos will only be available on her website (coming soon), but I wanted to show you guys what I’ve been working on!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Natural Makeup1

The Natural Look Makeup Tutorial

The Products

Concealer (regular color and light), foundation, blush, eyelid primer, bronzer, matte brown eye shadow, mascara.

Natural Makeup

More specifically, I use: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

The Process

  • Apply concealer #1 as your all-over base. This needs to match your skin color.
  • Use a lighter concealer to draw a triangle under your eye to the corner of your nose, then up to the inner corner of the eye.
  • Wait a couple minute for it to set.
  • Apply your loose powder all over. Don’t forget to blend down your neck.
  • Apply a non-sparkly blush to the apples of your cheeks, swooping up your cheek bones.
  • Apply a natural-color eyelid primer to your lids and blend with your finger.
  • In the crease, apply a mid-shade matte brown.
  • On the lids, apply your lighter bronze color.
  • Using the light concealer (#2), apply a small amount to the brow line as a highlight.
  • Take an all-over brush sweep it all over your face. This will pick up the excess powders and blend for a natural finish.
  • Apply mascara (no eyeliner), using either brown or black.

The Example

Natural Makeup1

In Conclusion

Actually without makeup to with makeup, but looking like all you did was put on mascara. I didn’t include this in the list of products, but I always wear Burt’s Bees on my lips. Al-ways. It helps them look smoother and shinier.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you use this and if it works for ya!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

 

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Blue Door

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There’s this fantastic blue door by the park across from where I work.

Speaking of where I work, my lack of posts are directly to related to how much fun I have with my job + starting a new semester + new projects coming up in the future,

BUT I love this blog so much, it’s always been my first love, and I feel really bad for neglecting it–BECAUSE I like being able to say that I can follow through with something. It’s now been over TWO years that I’ve had this blog! I can hardly believe that! Two! Years!

So how will I fix my lack of commitment as of late?

  • Take my camera with me more places
  • Actually take pictures of things
  • Make time to write something to go along with the pictures!

How simple of a list is that? Totally do-able. A goal-setting tip–make achievable goals. My goal for this week is 3 posts that are fashion, photography, or food! (Or make-up, but NOT dating. No more dating posts for a bit.)

I’m also thinking of going back to a more bloggy layout instead of excerpts. Thoughts? Input? I’m not totally alone in this fight for motivation, am I?

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Sometimes you have to say something

This post doesn’t particularly fit in well with the usual vibe of the site, but it fits in well with my personal beliefs.

Simply put:

Co-authors tried to publish a book, but the UT publishers cancelled it within days of publication because one of the authors (who is gay) wanted to put that he lives with his partner–saying that their projected LDS audience wouldn’t buy it with the word “partner” in bio section of the book.

This PDF explains it and has the attached emails that clearly show discrimination based on sexual preference. I’m very offended by the publishers’ remarks and how the situation was handled.

The publishers aren’t affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so this was not a “Church” decision. In fact, the church’s official statement on homosexuality, taken from MormonsAndGays.org, is:

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

Whether or not you agree with the LDS standpoint on gays and marriage (or most churches, for that matter), the church does not support hate or bigotry towards anyone. As someone that lives in Utah, is LDS and supports the pursuit of happiness, I am disappointed in the ignorance that spawned this unfortunate situation.

I really recommend reading the PDF linked above, especially the emails. Warning: if you’re a human being with a soul, this might infuriate you.

Thanks for reading.

Why Doesn’t He Like Me?

Every single human being is guilty for wondering at some point or another why someone else isn’t romantically into them.

I am. Frequently. It’s the worst feeling–and we handle it differently: Some of us whine to our friends who tell us that “he doesn’t know what he’s missing,” or something similar–that it couldn’t possibly be our fault and we believe them, then go on exactly as before.

Some of us whine to wine bottles and convince ourselves that if we were only taller, thinner, tanner, prettier, etc–that then we’d finally be good enough for him.

We might be heartbroken that they didn’t return our love-at-first-date. Sometimes, we don’t even like the guy until we realize he doesn’t seem to like us either! What is wrong with us, ladies?

It’s got to be part of human nature, but unrequited love is the worst, most heart-sinking feeling in the world–I think it’s worse than being broken up with. Why? Because when you break up, it hurts like every expletive in the book; but, you usually don’t see that person as often, you don’t spend time with them, it doesn’t last as long, and you don’t have to pretend like you’re not seriously sad on the inside.

So what are we supposed to do? Try not to care. Be the best you that you can be in all areas of life (mental, physical, emotional, etc.). Develop yourself. If the guy you like doesn’t like you back, so what? There is someone that will–and we deserve someone that wants us!

Wise words:

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Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to like me. People will tell you all sorts of excuses to make you feel better, but maybe, *takes off sunglasses* he’s just not that into you. P.S. If you haven’t seen that movie, watch it.

As long as I like myself, it won’t matter and I can be happy with friendship! In case that isn’t satisfying enough, here are some reasons he might not like you:

  1. You have nothing in common. You’re more attracted to people who share your interests. If you love music and he hates music, it’s going to be annoying.
  2. You’re  not the type of girl he is attracted to physically (I like tall dark and handsome, and tend to find mountain-type men more attractive than those with boyish looks. Everyone has a type. If you’re not his type, it doesn’t mean you’re not attractive.)
  3. You don’t have the personality traits he’s looking for. Maybe he wants someone who wants to be a housewife and pop out kids. Maybe you want to be the next Hilary Clinton, so he doesn’t even bother because it’d probably be easier to find someone who wants what you want than dealing with a relationship where you want opposite things.
  4. You are smelly and live in your parents basement. Some guys might not mind, but some will. If it bothers you that much, try doing better with your personal hygiene and work towards getting your own apartment.

Don’t change yourself so someone will like you. Change yourself so you will like you and then people that are like you will also like you.

Other resources (terrible, R-Rated NSFW language–like seriously, seriously…I wouldn’t post except her points are straight on. You’ve been warned. It applies to men AND ladies):

So what now? They don’t like you, so you can hate them and be bitter, right? NO! Christopher Davidson says:

You should be nice to a girl (or people in general), just to be nice, not because you expect romance or sex in return. No one owes you anything. As for “nice [girls]“, stop going for [men] out of your league. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and work on your confidence. [Men] don’t like pushovers or [girls] who are too clingy. They like nice [girls] who are confident, strong, and are exciting.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Fashion. Photography. Food. DIY.

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