Letters to the Future

Letter to future spouse

I found this letter in one of my old journals from high school. I forgot all about it, but it was a letter I did during a church activity, just for fun. I have no recollection of what’s in the letter, but from the “to Hot Stuff,” I imagine it will be teenager gold one day.

If I remember correctly, the point is to open it after I get engaged to make sure that I’ve picked the right person, or something. It doesn’t make much sense because once you’re engaged, a letter you wrote yourself when you were like 15 is bound to contain a vastly different outlook on what kind of person you wanted to marry. I’m pretty sure my top requirement was good-looking and a sense of humor!

If only, if only, a sense of humor and good looks was enough.

Also, a thing that’s annoying, is that who knows when I’ll ever open that! I like more certain gratification, so when I started my most recent journal, I decided to write myself a letter not to be opened until I fill up every page. Since it’s like my 3rd or 4th journal, I have no doubt I’ll actually do it.

The reason I do it, is to fill the letter with things that are important to me, then see how much things have changed when I finally open it! Here’s what the letter contains:

  1. My list of Favorites (movies, books, TV shows, songs, moments, people, lessons, quotations, achievements)
  2. Important Questions & Feelings (unanswered questions, current predominant emotions, view on the world, what you enjoy about today, what are you thankful for)
  3. Goals & Aspirations (what you pursue, vision of your future life, what your looking forward to, hopes for future self, how do you want/expect to be different when you read this again)
  4. A Day in the Life… (how is everyday life, typical day at work/home/school, daily interactions, everyday habits)
  5. Highlights of the Year (what funny facts to remember, 10 best/worst things that happened, describe the year in one sentence, in one word)
  6. Advice to Myself (advice, most recent lesson you don’t want to forget)

It’s really a fun letter and I’m excited to see how much I’ve changed when I finally read it! I wrote it August 11, 2012. It’s already almost been a year and I don’t even think I’m halfway through my journal!

I encourage you to write yourself one of these letters and set a specific goal to yourself as when you can open it. Ideas:

  1. When you achieve your weightloss goal
  2. When you graduate middle/high school or college
  3. When you have your first child
  4. When you start your business…

The list goes on. Set a goal, then write a letter to yourself that you can read when you accomplish it! It’s a great motivation and reward.

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!

LOVE WEEK: Singles’ Awareness Day Party Perfection

sparkling cherry juice

Singles Awareness Day party ideas

If you’re like me and single for the first Valentine’s Day in 3 years, you definitely want to have a relaxed time for once. This week, I’m co-hosting one and attending another S. A. D. party (co-ed winkywinky), and I thought I’d share my ideas on how to throw the best Singles’ Party with you and your similarly single lady friends OF ALL TIME:

  1. Environment/Decor: Pick some awesome single playlists [herehere] and play that background music!
  2. Food: Lots of strawberries and chocolate and popcorn. Cute recipes here, here, and here.
  3. Activities: Chick-flicks of course! (He’s Just Not That Into You, Mona Lisa Smile, etc)
  4. Activities: Heart-attack someone you all know
  5. Activities: board games/party games (Never have I ever…, other icebreakers)
  6. Activities: photo-booths are super fun

MOSTLY, just try to have a good time! Be happy!! Instead of wasting time with a boy you probably won’t end up with–you could be creating lasting bonds with women-folk.

After the boys-and-girls singles’ party I go to this weekend, I’ll let you know what we did and how great it turned out to be. Being single can be so fun.

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!

100 Things Girls Should Do: WEEK ONE

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s post, maybe read it. It gives a good deal of background as to what made me think of this list.

Some background: I have decided to start this list to promote activities us ladies can do in our free time to become more well-rounded and influential in our communities/the world. Each week I’m going to post 10 things each week and soon I’ll have 100 ideas of what I can do in my free time. Then, we’ll never have an excuse to say “I’m bored” again!  Note: These ideas are meant to be in-the-moment activities that don’t require giant time commitments in order to keep it simple.

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#1 – Write Your Feeling *right now* In Poem Form

Just sit down with some paper and a pen and fill that paper with some words. Females develop language skills much earlier than males, and continue that advantage as we grow older. [1] That means somewhere inside of your mind is the ability to beautifully express yourself in ways perhaps the opposite sex cannot. Feeling bored, angry, sad, happy? Try to give it all words!

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#2 – Read This Short Story

This is a great way to take up some time while learning in amazing imagery about a very useful concept, the Butterfly Effect–which is basically how one small, seemingly meaningless change can lead to enormous differences later on.

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#3 – Start A Journal

Probably one of the most important things you can do. For me, personally, I am the kind of person who needs to talk out my problems to understand how to organize them in my mind. Instead of sharing what might be sensitive/personal information with others, I like to get it out in writing. I’m able to express myself much better now, because I’ve had so much practice putting thoughts and ideas into words. Also, it’s important to record things you learn–maybe you can use it one day for you or someone else!

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#4 – Meditate In Nature

Sometimes, when I have a lot to think about, it’s nice to just slow down. I enjoy being alone at times and love to find secluded places (free from the distractions of my room/etc.) to just sit and reflect. It’s just silent time to yourself to ponder on the things of the world. Does wonders for stress.

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#5 – Watch A Comedy Show

“When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.” [2] I think sometimes we’re too worried we’re wasting our time, but we don’t have to always be working! Entertainment is good, so long as we’re not constantly involving ourselves in the world with the mindset of “entertain me.” Here’s an idea to get you started.

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#6 – Help Fund A Kickstarter

“Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.” [3] Most of the time, you can pledge as little or as much as you’d like. This helps you get involved in the online community and contribute to the success of people with ideas, just like you. Have a great idea? Start a Kickstarter!

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#7 – Watch An Educational Video On YouTube

Some find it easier to learn by watching, rather than just reading or listening. There are a lot of creative people on YouTube who dedicate a lot of time to clever ways to inform the public! I used this quote yesterday, but I feel it needs repeating: “Prevailing myths imply that [women] … are generally sweet but uninformed,” [4] Don’t let that be you. Might I suggest  these to get you started.

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#8 – Try a Pinterest Recipe

There are so many out there. Try one, document it, and put it on your social media outlet of choice to impress the world! Or at least make them laugh. No point in Pinning so many things if you’re not going to actually try it out! (Here are my Sweet & Savory boards!)

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#9 – Frame Your Favorite Photo

Go get a good one printed out, buy a cute frame (they even have them at the dollar store) and put it somewhere nice.

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#10 – Check Out A Great Infographic

A very visual way to learn stuffs, infographics are the new big thing for easily getting information out in succinct ways. They’re cool. Here’s a list of 20 great ones.

I’ll have 10 more next Wednesday! Let me know if you do any of these–and then you can thank me for becoming a more well-rounded, contributing human. Wink!

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!

100 “Girly” Things

I recently saw a pin on Pinterest (clearly, where I spend much too much time) linking to the blog “Straight Up Glam,” with a beginning list of “100 girly things to do” when you’re bored. Another pinner commented that it was one of the most degrading things they’d seen, so I decided to take a look. Heads up: this is a long, ranty post. I am passionate about this topic, though, and would love to hear your thoughts as well.

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Just from the “About Me,” I could tell this blog isn’t meant to be any sort of deep–which is fine–but after perusing through the first 10 suggestions, then up to her most current list of 50, I was generally appalled at this blogger’s definition of “girly.”

It’s like, think of every stereotype you’ve ever heard associating women with silliness, frivolity or complete shallow materialism–and that is what her list entails.

A few things before I tear apart her lists:

  • I have no problem with femininity (as should be obvious). I don’t believe that in order to be “equal” to men, we have to dress or act like them; however,
  • I firmly believe that the widely accepted generalization of women as vapid, emotional, damsels-in-distress is furthered by such vain, surface level expressions of what girls/women ought to be doing with their free time.
  • I don’t think the activities mentioned in themselves are wrong, I just feel it’s wrong to identify the word girly as pertaining to self-indulgent material-worship. A better name for her list might be “100 things to pamper yourself.”

As I went through the list again for this post, I made a list of the few “not bad” suggestions and the downright appalling suggestions. Keep in mind, these are all her suggestions for what to do in your free time:

The Not-So-Bad:

  • Sign up for dance class/lessons
  • Make your own _________
  • Be a tourist in your own city
  • Learn to sew
  • Plant a garden
  • Yoga

These are (out of fifty) the only ones that stuck out to me as actually a) requiring a useful skill, b) adding to the value of self in a non-material way, c) providing opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. STILL, the author clearly has distinct lines in her head about what girls ought to do and what boys ought to do, as if there’s no crossing-over allowed. Also, being a “tourist in your own city” is the only one out of 50 that suggests anything outside of one’s home or yard–unless you count trips to the various salons she suggests to maintain a sightly appearance.

The Appallingly Demeaning:

  • Having a “girly playlist” that encompasses the bubblegum pop of our generations, including poster-child of women: Madonna’s “Material Girl.”
  • Gossip. …Yep, just “gossip,” listed as an actual suggestion
  • Finding your signature perfume, so you can be remembered like the other girls you know
  • Tying “pretty bows” on your hangers
  • Buy a set of tools–but all in pink!

I could go on listing the suggestions that literally made my jaw drop and my blood boil, but those above are some of the worst. I almost don’t know where to start with this list! Firstly, I suppose I could start with the horrific idea that there are many among the female population that see these suggestions and might actually spend a few hours trying to get the prettiest bows around all of her hangers!

Such menial, pointless wastes of time almost hurt to think about. I can maybe understand doing these activities in a group setting, while bonding and  talking–maybe, but to suggest a girl sit around and try out dozens of perfumes to find the one that personifies “her” is a colossal waste of energy almost unfathomable to me under any circumstance!

And the photos she finds for these are something else entirely: for the tool set  the tools look almost like a toy set–and definitely look like decoration rather than anything to get real use out of.

Imagine walking into the life of a woman who has bows around all of her hangers (that sit hidden under mountains of clothes in her closet), whose every possession is decorated with rhinestones, and who sits around gossiping and painting (and then re-painting) various parts of her face and nails during her free time. At best, I’d smile with a crinkled nose and say “aw, how cute.”

You just can’t associate that type of person with maturity or take them seriously–and the idea that women should act like this is absurd.

I still can’t believe “gossip” is listed as something to do in your spare time. Gossip is degrading, indulgent, and destructive. Always.

Gossip quote Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s like people don’t understand that we, as human beings, should be trying to be the best people we can be. Why? Because it brings us and others the purest happiness that we can have–not the fleeting, fading happiness that comes from material possessions and appearances. To me, it’s difficult to see how one’s conscious could allow for such behavior.

Here is my main problem:  just as men don’t strive for “boyishness” (a term basically synonymous with immaturity), why would women seek/want/strive to be more “girly?” Pampering yourself occasionally is one thing, but a female that spends her free time trying to find her “perfect red lipstick” or “bedazzling” is not only stooping to demeaning stereotypes of women, but her lack of meaningful actions contribute nothing to society or the betterment of the world. This behavior contributes to the reason women often feel unable to be happy until they modify themselves to fit what they think everyone else wants to see from them. This is why young girls grow up to believe they are only worth as much as they’re liked by others.

“Prevailing myths imply that [women] are of lower importance than men, that we are generally sweet but uninformed,” [1] and women are the first ones that need to be convinced of the untruthfulness of these myths! Entitlement, excuse, apathy, enticement and general worldliness really shouldn’t be passed on to the younger women of the world–so might I suggest my list of 100 Things Girls Should Do In Their Free-time, starting tomorrow.

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!

Early New Years Resolutions

With only two weeks left until Christmas, it’s about time I started thinking about everything I’m going to do differently next year. Everyone knows the biggest problem with New Years Resolutions is that they always get put off, or never done at all.

That’s why when I thought of some ideas, I decided I was just going to start now.

New Year's Resolutions 2013

Some good advice I’ve come across for sticking to your resolutions is to make sub-goals for each goal & reward yourself when you reach each stepping stone–and also to make the goals with “what do I really want to achieve in life” in mind.

As someone who has never really sat down and thought out New Year’s resolutions, I decided I don’t want to mess this up. I’ve created a guide for sticking to your resolutions, gathered from various sources on the interwebs:

tips to keep new years resolutions

I’ll be sitting down tonight and mapping out my sub-goals and defining exactly when I’ll know I’ve accomplished one of these tasks. I can’t wait to get to work on these!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

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 (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you all so much!

Why I’d rather be friends with nerds than the “popular girls,” Project Good I

I think we’ve all gone through periods where people don’t accept us. In my experience, those people that don’t accept me tend to be a particular type of person; usually, girls that have a common personality trait of what I consider to be shallow and judgmental.

I remember one time in middle school when there was practically a riot when one girl decided to go sit at the popular girls’ table. It was totally unheard of and everyone was shocked. Just like the movie Mean Girls, there is generally always a group of girls in schools that think being have more expensive clothes or something makes them better than other people. When you grow up and move on from high school, somehow there are still those girls who refuse to accept others.

I’ve been paying attention, and I’ve decided that it all stems from being judgmental. Let’s admit, we all probably acted in ways we wish we wouldn’t have in high school–but is there any excuse to continue being mean after graduation? Regardless of their social standing as an adolescent, some young adult women develop this sense of superiority because they do certain things and reject those who don’t behave the way they perceive to be correct.

I think it’s usually the girls that, upon asking, can’t exactly tell you why they treat you poorly. They might say, “I don’t know, you just annoy me,” or “sometimes you just say things…” as if that is indicative of any sort of enlightening response.

I already think that regardless of how you feel about someone, you should never treat anyone poorly. I also feel like that is a pretty accepted way to behave. Why, then, do people continue to be rude or mean? I guess I just don’t understand it, but I have to conclude it comes from an inability to empathize and a penchant for rejecting those who don’t fit inside a self-perceived mold.

I have a friend named Kayla. Kayla is beautiful, smart, funny and the kind of person everyone would want to keep around. I remember one time in high school, a kid came up to her and said something. I can’t remember what it was, but I do remember that this kid was someone people didn’t take seriously and rejected him as a peer. If this kid had come up to me, I would have brushed him off, or said the minimal to get him to go away. I didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time and I expected Kayla to do the same–but she didn’t. She gave a genuine laugh and responded enthusiastically, treating him the same way she would anyone.

That might seem like a silly example, but I remember being completely taken aback and kind of had an epiphany of the kind of person I was and the kind of person she was and how much improving I had to do.

It took me a few times to really solidify this lesson in the way I act, but I really pride myself on being accepting and non-judgmental of others. Mostly, I just try to be nice. One of my biggest motivating factors for being nice is because I’ve been treated poorly and I know what it feels like to have people mistreat you for no apparent reason other than a superiority complex. I know I don’t like to feel that way and I would never want to make anyone else feel that way.

I think we’ve all heard the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I propose we take it a step forward and try to change our perceptions so we don’t think negatively of others. Some might say in an unobtainable goal, but I think we’d all be happier if we tried to live that way–even if we never fully perfect it.

I also think it’s important to be yourself no matter how other people treat you. You can never make everyone happy–and why would you want to waste your time trying? For every couple people that don’t like you because you say what you think outright instead of gossiping about it behind the person’s back, there are a few more that admire that about you. For every couple people that don’t like you because they perceive your shyness to be rudeness, there are a few more that understand you and love you for it.

Whatever you do, don’t succumb to their bullying or suppress yourself just to avoid the trouble.

To those “Mean Girls,” whether you be male or female:

If you find that everyone else around you needs to change to be the type of person you want them to be, perhaps you’re the one that needs changing. It’s not possible that you’re the perfect person and everyone else needs to fit into your mold of how they should be, act, or feel.

You can be pretty and smart and funny, but if you’re also judgmental, those other qualities matter a lot less–especially once you’re out of high school. Don’t you want to be the kind of person that, 3 or 5 or 10 or 50 years after high school, has a blog post written about you and how you made a difference by being a good person? If you truly don’t care and still don’t see anything wrong with what you’re doing, at least do us all a favor and keep it to yourself.

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 (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!

Project Good

If anyone reading now read yesterday’s post (especially the comments), you’ll know that I completely planned on posting about what happened to me on Monday.

Yesterday, however, I was thinking about the situation and I felt really pathetic for continuing to let it weigh on my mind.

So I found this photo I took while I was living in California and added some things that I feel like would make a person happier:

Let’s be honest–the world has enough negativity without me adding to it.

Posting what I previously planned for today is just not worth it.

I don’t regret anything I’ve done to this point and I intend to keep it that way. 

That’s why I’ve decided to start Project Good, where you do something good, then tell me how it inspired you (and the other person, if you know) and I post them once a week! Let’s take something bad and make something good. Everything posted will be anonymous, so don’t be shy!

Thanks for reading, I hope I’ve inspired at least one person today. Let’s all make an attempt to go out of our way for someone today. Send me a message or comment if you do! Have a fantastic week, I have some tutorials planned that I’m really excited about, so check back for new postings and don’t forget to like the new Lace Lollipops on Facebook!

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 (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you!

The Importance of a Good Man

Surprise! I’m making this into a book. See details here.

Leave a comment after you read the book and tell me what you think!

A few months ago, one of my very best friends gave me a copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I had seen the movie, but never read the book. I love the movie! I still think every girl should see it, but after reading the book cover to cover in just an hour or so (granted, it’s only 80pgs) and highlighting the heck out of it, I’ve decided that every human–especially women–should either read the book or be exposed to the things it teaches.

At the time, I was just getting over dating who I like to refer to as my Evil Ex. It helped confirm to me exactly the kind of person he was (and probably still is), but I couldn’t help but wish I had read it years earlier. 

Recent circumstances allowed me to think of the book again, so I went through and picked out all the qualities listed in the book that have become my new standard. Instead of helping me get over an ex, I read it with the mindset of appreciating and being able to recognize the type of man that I will one day spend my life with.

It also occurred to me that this might be useful to some of you.

I made it all into a pretty book, extremely convenient for you to download, print and make into a little cheat sheet of your own! I’m not saying that these are the end-all, be-all of standards, but they are mine and maybe it wouldn’t be bad if they were yours too.


EDIT: This was written at a very specific time in my life, as is discussed above. I’ve posted a response and explanation for the contents of this book 9 months after this, which you can (and should) follow up with 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!

Homemade Lip Exfoliant

I know Maria is usually the DIYer, but I saw this adorable idea on Pinterest and had to try it out! I also had a Bridal Shower to go to and I figured it’d be a cute gift! So I made it–and then tried it out, and then wrapped it up all nice. Voila!

1 part Brown Sugar

1 part Olive Oil

1 part Honey

Mix and enjoy! Although I added more brown sugar and if I had to redo the recipe, I’d add a little less olive oil.

For the container, I used an empty ELF Nail Polish Remover (obviously sanitized) holder. I was/am pretty proud of myself.

In the Mirror

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable.

“But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’

“If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being.

“You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.

“I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough.

“But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.” – Maya Angelou

What’s looking you back in the mirror?? Take a picture and send it to me at brittany@lacelollipops.com and I’ll feature it on my blog next Tuesday. Be creative! Visit the Projects Tab at the top of the site to get the details!

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!