Dream In Lace

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey : Entertaining or Demeaning


It was 2011 when I stumbled upon and read a little book titled Fifty Shades of Grey. It was a different time, before I paid much attention to book hype, and I went into this trilogy knowing very little. The titles and the covers were intriguing? (Hey, it's my right to judge a book by its cover!) And so yea, it was a bit shocking to discover the book was literotica, aka literary porn. Sure, I managed to chuckle my way through the first book for its shock value but it did take me about six months before I was able to gag my way through the sequel Fifty Shades Freed. Gagged? Yes, I mean I literally was choking on the cheese and cliches to the point where I couldn't bring myself to stomach the final book. I was done. And so I boxed up these (pretty) books and shipped them off to Goodwill for some other unsuspecting fool to get suckered, all in the name of a good cause! ;)

Okay now, I know what you're thinking: prude.

But here's the thing, it's not the subject matter at all that offends me about these books. It's not even that the writing is so shallow, juvenile and unimaginative that I'd put money on a fifth grade to pen a better draft. What really nagged at me is how boldly demeaning the story is OUTSIDE of the 'red room of pain'. (Christian's sex chambers, if you're not aware.)

Here's a girl, who graduates college and is ready to embark on a bright future - but instead gives her entire life over to a man in a blink of an eye. Our Christian boy's all 'I control everything' - and so Anastasia lets him. From her friends, to her work life, to her diet, hygiene, whatever - Christian Grey reaches into every corner of her life and takes over. Quite frankly the least offensive part of these books is that he's giving her spankings (among other things) in the bedroom. What's a spanking over letting someone uproot your entire life?

FACT: there is a huge difference between playing submissive in the bedroom to playing submissive with your life!

Thus, I'm curious what everyone thinks! Does the entertainment value of shocking/erotic sex scenes trump the trilogy's sexist attitudes? What does it say about women today that such a derogatory trilogy is the best-selling series of all time? Are these books generally entertaining or are they demeaning?

It might seem out of left field that I even approached this subject on Dream in Lace, but the recent release of the film's trailer (which I must say was well done) reawakened my frustration over the successes of these books! It's like clearing my disgusted conscience - a confessions of sins - that I ever read these books to begin with! *hangs head sadly in shame*

OH THE SHAME!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Yay or Nay: CoverGirl Jumbo Lip Gloss Balm Review

covergirl lip perfection jumbo gloss balm review
covergirl lip perfection jumbo gloss balm review
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Lip Gloss Balm in 'Blush Twist'
Not that I was in need of more lip products, but I did spy these Jumbo Lip Gloss Balms from CoverGirl and needed to give them a try. Naughty! I know, the jumbo pencil thing is overdone but hey, whatevs! Who doesn't love a good lippie? The color I snatched up is Blush Twist and is the ideal everyday pink that every girl must have.

I really like this a lot! These are basically like the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains but are a bit more lipsticky. (Is that even a word? Probably not.) The color I love! For whatever reason, everyday pinks don't always look good on me but I found this color suited me well. To boot, the packaging is also great. To me, CoverGirl usually has tacky packaging and it was a nice surprise to see something sleek from them.

After last week's horrible BB Cream (post here) I was happy to find a redeeming product from CG. If I had to choose between this and the Revlon Just Bitten balms, I think I'm going to say I like this better. *shocker!*

YAY: Yes. These are a yay! If you're into lippies, they're definitely worth trying.

Have you tried these? What did you think?

Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Manage Stress


I've noticed something about myself lately, I'm really good at managing stress. Or, at least better than most people. When I talk about my day job, blogging, medical stuff, etc...I'm often asked, 'How do you do it all?' and I think: quite easily!

I wasn't always this way. Looking back at just a year ago I'm amazed how things that used to drive me to the brink of an anxiety attack now just brush right off me. How did I do it? Well, maybe different than you think.

The cold hard honest truth is: the millions of articles out there on how to manage stress do squat.

Those advice columns treat stress management as an external struggle when really, you need to focus within yourself. Often, what stresses us out is not within our control, going to change, or go away. But instead of leaving yourself in a lurch and freaking out, you can take control of how those things affect YOU! Yes, you! It's all about you. It's not about how large your to-do list is, how awful work is being, your car breaking down, a fight with a friend, whatever...it's about altering the way you react to life's curve balls and that requires a whole lot of attitude adjustment!

 I could probably write an entire book on this, and perhaps I'll develop this into more posts, but for now here are the 5 ways I manage to live life relatively stress free.

HOW TO MANAGE STRESS

1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
We can only take and do so much. On any given day I have a to-do list so mile high I rarely ever get through it. And it used to really stress me out. I'd bend over backwards to get things done and in the end that was a HUGE mistake. When you don't acknowledge your limits you'll work yourself into a frenzy and compromise your ability to get work done or even be reasonable. You have to accept that yes you can do it all, but you can't actually do it all at the same time!

2. PRIORITIZE
This goes very in hand with knowing your limits. Rank things you need to do in order of 'How much am I going to kill myself to get this done?' Then, focus on those things you most NEED to do and work your way down the list. Sure, some things may spend weeks at the bottom of your to-do list but hey, at least you're accomplishing many more high-priority things along the way.

3. LEARN TO ACCEPT CRITICISM AND TAKE NOTHING PERSONAL
This is a BIG one! So many people I talk to get extremely stressed out by someone shredding their work apart. I get it, I've been there...but I then learned not to get so emotionally attached to my work. Usually when someone is giving you criticism, it's because they have more experience than you. So, rather than getting all worked up, accept their criticism as a learning point. Take what they say to heart and learn from it. If you learn from it the first time, you'll automatically do even better the next time and eventually maybe have eliminated the problem all together. At school or work, someone critiquing your work is most definitely meant to be constructive criticism. They're not slamming for the sake of being mean, they're trying to help you learn! Take nothing personally.

4. KNOW YOU ARE A PRIORITY AND WHEN TO WALK AWAY
You and your well-being should always be at the top of your priority list. If you're not functioning well, nothing else will. Remember to always listen to yourself and the cues of when things are getting too much. When things are getting too overwhelming, have the courage to walk away. Even if it's for only 5 minutes! No matter what you're working, there should always be at least 5 minutes for you to take a break. Have a coffee. Listen to your favorite song. Browse your Twitter. Go for a walk. Whatever. Taking a short break will do wonders for staying focused and productive.

5. NEW RULE: DON'T CARRY STRESS HOME WITH YOU
It took me a minute to pin this down to a point, but basically...when you leave work or school, leave the work there. And make it a RULE! Your time away from work is for you and should be used fulfilling other parts of your life that make you happy! Don't spend your down time stressing about things you can't do until tomorrow. Instead, use that time to have fun with your friends or relax with a Netflix marathon. Once you make the rule that you won't bring this stress home with you, you'll find it getting easier and easier to enjoy yourself again. Truthfully, sometimes I leave work feeling mega-stressed, and by the time the drive home is over and I'm back home it's like a distant memory. That's your time! Enjoy it!

*WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS - LISTEN TO ANGRY MUSIC
I'm an avid yoga fan, but when it comes to combating stress I find nothing works better than a good workout or driving session to angry music! I don't care how mellow you like your music on a day-to-day basis, everyone needs angry music on hand. Angry music is at its best when you're working out because it literally fuels you on. After a while, you'll push through your stress and anxiety and be able to enjoy a nice mellow stretching session afterwards. Or wine ;)


I seriously hope these tips help you! I know, it's a tough pill to swallow that it's really YOU that has to change. When stressed, we like to gripe about the things we're stressed over putting them at fault, but when it gets down to it: we are the ones in control of how we respond. Take responsibility for your own stress management and I guarantee you'll be pulling your hair out and staying up all night less and less!

On that note, stress or no stress, we can all be glad it's Friday and the weekend! That should make us all very very happy! Enjoy your weekend :)



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