500th Post – With a Big Announcement!

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Happy Friday, everyone- and what a beautiful Friday it is! It’s also a very special occasion for ‘Legally Redhead’. This is my 500th post!

When I first started this blog back on New Year’s Day in 2013, I never thought I’d make it to 500 posts. I didn’t even know if I’d make it to 100, honestly- but it quickly became a passionate project of mine- and getting the opportunity to interact with so many incredible, insightful and talented people about a variety of subjects over the years has been the icing on a pretty amazing cake.

First and foremost, I want to thank each and every one of you who have subscribed to/followed Legally Redhead since it’s inception. Your support and your feedback throughout the years has kept me going- even when I sometimes wondered what the point was (it happens to all bloggers at some point, trust me…) and I have worked incredibly hard to give you all content I was proud of and hoped you would all enjoy. It means the world to me to know that other people care about this little corner of the web as much as I do.

I also want to thank the brands/companies I’ve partnered with over these past few years. You all took a chance with me- an inexperienced blogger by comparison to more established and well-known websites/figures- and I’m so honored to have had the privilege to work with all of you. Truly. I’m so, so grateful for so many wonderful opportunities that were presented to me.

But times- they are a changing- and it’s with immense pride (and a little sorrow) that I have to announce that I’m closing the chapter of my life known as ‘Legally Redhead’.

Wait- what?!

Okay, okay- so I’m not done blogging- I’m just done blogging here, is all! I’m heading on over to a sparkling new URL to start fresh and provide more frequent and more polished content (as opposed to my sporadic posting style here at ‘Legally Redhead’).

Today marks the launch of my latest project: Blondie Birdie!

But- why?!

Well, the simple answer is that I’m not the same person I was when I first started ‘Legally Redhead’- a site that was created in the aftermath of my father’s unexpected death during my mid-20s. While many of my interests and goals remain (mostly) the same- I’ve changed a lot over the past couple of years- especially with my breakup last Summer. I wanted a fresh start and the chance to really focus on blogging full-time alongside my current career path as I transitioned into the next stage of my life.

Also- I’m not a redhead anymore- and haven’t been for a while! So, you know- I needed an update to better reflect my hair color!

What’s going to happen to ‘Legally Redhead’?

Nothing at all! The site is going to stay up- just the way it is- so that people can reference my past posts about recipes, travel, makeup, fashion, etc. There just won’t be any new updates after this post. All of my new content will be over at Blondie Birdie starting today!

What will Blondie Birdie be about?

Well, in a lot of ways- Blondie Birdie will be similar to ‘Legally Redhead’. I still intend to share recipes, cosmetic/skin care reviews, travel recaps, etc. but I’m also hoping to have more structured and professional-looking posts about a larger variety of topics- many of which I’ve been tempted to post about here but just never got around to.

What about ‘Legally Redhead’s social media?

Not to worry! I’ve taken care of everything. I’ve updated my CONTACTS page here on ‘Legally Redhead’ reflecting any changes in usernames- and will also have the CONTACTS page on Blondie Birdie updated accordingly. If you’re looking for me- I won’t be hard to find. Promise!

How do I follow Blondie Birdie?

The same way you followed me here. There’s a “FOLLOW ME” button along the side-bar of my homepage. Simply add your e-mail or click the button to be logged into WordPress and you’ll be notified every time I post! I’ll also have my social media links up if you want to follow me on any of those platforms!

I think that’s pretty much everything. I sincerely hope that all of you who have been so supportive and incredible these past few years come along with me during the next chapter in my life. I’m excited to begin writing it- and I hope you’re all just as excited to read about it!

Thank you for an incredible 4+ years.

See you over on Blondie Birdie!

xx

www.blondiebirdie.com

May 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Memorial Day Weekend, 2017.

Good Morning! This already short week (thanks to Memorial Day) is nearly finished and I couldn’t be more ready for the weekend to arrive so I can try a do-over on my cookout that was rained out this past Monday afternoon or attempt to head to the beach if the weather ever clears up. I’ll take any bit of sunshine I can get at this point- even if it’s just for a few minutes. This rain has been ridiculous! I thought “May Grey” was a SoCal thing- but it looks like it may have just hitched a ride with me back to the East Coast, instead!

I digress- lousy weather aside- May was a pretty fantastic month for a lot of different reasons. I’ve been crushing it at work lately, which is always a good feeling- and getting to know and further bond with some of my co-workers outside of the office has been a lot of fun, too- since I love meeting and getting to know new people. One outing in particular- a meet-up in my hometown to catch a local outdoor film festival/short film competition at one of my favorite bars this past Saturday- resulted in my running into Nev and Max from MTV’s “Catfish” (the guiltiest of guilty pleasures)– who were/are in the area to film an episode, I believe.

I had a MOMENT telling them how much I love their show- but they were thankfully super chill and sweet. Check it out!

This is the face of a girl who never misses an episode.

My co-workers got a kick out of my excited flailing- and that was before I’d even had a drink.

What else? My cousin and my best friend both finished college this month- graduating and obtaining their respective degrees within days of each other- so a good portion of May felt like one big, non-stop party for a while as we all commemorated such wonderful milestones. My cousin is now heading off to begin her career as a chemist, while my best friend is preparing for a month-long residency in Spain later on this Summer. We’re trying to plan a few beach-side bonfires and bar crawls before he goes, though- just so he’ll have some fresher memories of home to take with him while he’s gone.

And by now we all know I had headed to Las Vegas and San Diego a little more than a week ago to unwind, sunbathe, and low-key look at some property outside of the Vegas strip for a few days- and the trip ended up being one of my favorites in recent memory. No stress. No nonsense- lots of Mexican food- and it was AMAZING to spend some quality time with some of the people I love and cherish so much out there. Truly. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer because I was having such an incredible time and it was hard to leave it all behind to come back to my life here in Boston.

And now Summer is upon us (even though it doesn’t look/feel like it outside right now) and my big blogging news is just a few days away from going public. Some of you may have seen me discussing it on social media- I know a few friends and some brand representatives have been getting the promotional train running already- but by next week there’s going to be some exciting updates (and the beginnings of a giveaway!) here on Legally Redhead that I’ve been preparing to share for what feels like an eternity now- and I thank everyone for their continued patience while I smooth out the last of the details. It’s been such a fun journey so far and I know it’s only going to get better and brighter from here.

All that being said, I’m reluctantly saying goodbye to May- as much as I want to hold onto it for a little while longer- and saying hello to June, instead. Bring on the Summer and all the sunshine that goes with it!

Sunset in Vegas, May 2017.

‘Til next time!

xx

Homeward Bound…

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Before I even begin talking about my recent vacation (of which I’m still recovering now that I’m back in slightly chillier/rainy temperatures on the East Coast)– there’s a couple of things that happened in the past week that I would like to address. While I was having the time of my life in Las Vegas and San Diego these past few days- I know there was some really dark, heavy stuff happening in the world and it doesn’t feel right just jumping into something super upbeat without acknowledging those things, first.

As I write this, I’m revisiting some Audioslave tracks I enjoyed a lot when I was in my teens and truly reflecting on the magnitude of the loss of one of the most incredible voices in rock- Chris Cornell. To lose someone with so much talent and whose music holds such a special spot in so many people’s lives and memories (especially us 90s kids) is tragic enough- but to know his death was the result of suicide makes it hurt just that much more. It cannot be said enough- but mental illness and depression are serious business and are nothing to be ashamed of- nor should they be dealt with or tackled alone. If you or someone you know is suffering and need help- I urge you to reach out. You’re not alone in this and there are people who are always available to help and who want to see you well and feeling better.

And in equally stunning and horrible music news- there are no words to describe my emotions when I heard about what happened in Manchester. I had been grabbing my phone charger from my hotel room when the news alerts started coming in- and every breaking news segment just became worse and worse as the situation played out in real time. It’s unfathomable and inconceivable and thoughts and prayers can only go so far when so many precious, young lives have been lost and so many families have been irreversibly changed for the worse.

Shows and concerts are a magical experience- completely unique to each fan in attendance- for so many reasons. I’ve gone to many and have gotten emotional more than once when a band played my favorite song or struck a certain chord that just hit me the right way. Shows are a place of love, and acceptance, and being able to lose yourself in music with friends and strangers alike for a night- and to see something so wonderful and precious destroyed by senseless violence is heartbreaking and terrifying and every part of me aches for those who have been affected by this- but I implore you not to be afraid. Do not let the hateful ideology behind what happened in Manchester keep you from enjoying live music and stop you from being present in the world for one another.

This was truly an ugly moment in the world- but I promise you all that there’s more good than bad out there. You just have to be fearless enough to go and seek it out and fight against any evil you may encounter along the way with nothing but love.

And now, to hopefully lift the mood of this post a bit- let me share some bits and pieces from my vacation.

I did not win big. At all.

I didn’t spend a lot of time in Vegas- just over 24 hours, really- but during that time I managed to lose $5 on a “Walking Dead” slot machine, grab In-N-Out Burger (and a couple of cocktails, naturally)– get plenty of steps in as I went from casino to casino- and look at a couple of houses in the area off of the strip that are on the market since I’m still very much intending on making an eventual move out West and wanted to compare Nevada real estate to California’s (spoiler alert: it’s infinitely cheaper to live in Nevada!)

I stayed at Caesar’s Palace in a suite overlooking a portion of the strip, and when my feet eventually started to hurt- I retreated back to my room and to the gigantic Jacuzzi (with a LUSH bath bomb in tow) for some much-needed post-day in the desert rest & relaxation.

Remind me to add “Jacuzzi” to my must-have “House Hunting” list, by the way!

Following Vegas, I headed to San Diego for a few days specifically to visit friends and do absolutely nothing apart from sunbathe and sip cold drinks under palm trees. I was there for a vacation, damn it- which means no itinerary- and did I ever have fun! I actually think this most recent trip, as short as it was- might be one of the best I’ve ever had in Southern California in recent memory. It was so wonderful spending time with some familiar faces (and meeting new ones!) and the weather remained consistently gorgeous throughout my stay- no sign of “May Gray” anywhere!

And although it’s always so hard to leave San Diego and return to the East Coast every time I’m out that way- this time was a little easier- not because I was particularly eager to get back home, but because I have a feeling I’ll be out there again real soon- and might even make a great stride towards a permanent residency after being on the fence and indecisive about it for so long while I attempted to climb the career ladder so I’d have one less thing to worry about. Now that I’ve reached the top of that aforementioned ladder- my options and possibilities are looking a whole lot more bright and attainable!

With Memorial Day this weekend, I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. I’ll be sharing my favorites from this past month before packing up some beachwear (weather permitting!) to kick off the start of the Summer season- and then it’s onward into June where I’ll finally be able to share my blogging news! I’m so excited!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

Chocolate Bunnies, Marathons and Floral Arrangements…

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My Family’s Dessert Table – Easter, 2017

For as long as I can remember, Easter has never particularly been a holiday of significant importance to me. I can understand it’s value to those who recognize or honor it’s religious meaning- but once I was old enough to learn the Easter Bunny was just my mom or dad hiding plastic eggs filled with candy or money around the yard and not really the work of a seven foot tall rabbit- I stopped paying attention to anything more than Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and how itchy and uncomfortable the Spring dresses my mom would make me wear as a little kid to the day’s family functions/get-togethers were.

I digress. Every year, without fail- my family continues that time-honored tradition of gathering for a Thanksgiving-level feast at my mom’s house that starts in the early afternoon and doesn’t usually wrap up until much later on at night. We’re all usually catching up with one another (and there’s a lot of us, you best believe!) or watching sports between bites- and it’s always such a good time. This year was no exception. It was wonderful seeing my brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and my niece after a few long weeks or working non-stop.

Admittedly, this time of the year can also be a little tough for me now and then. I think of my dad a lot during time spent with my immediate and extended family- and how much fun we had when he was still here with us- and it was right around this time last year that things started falling apart with my ex, whom I actually saw and spent some time with a couple of weeks ago. We got along just fine (much to my amazement.)

But to distract myself from what I’ve dubbed the “Pre-Blossom Blues” (still waiting on the trees and flowers to catch up with the rest of the warm weather!) I’ve thrown myself into work and planning an impromptu trip to Vegas and San Diego next month to visit friends and enjoy some In-N-Out Burger during an extended cheat day from my diet. I’m really excited!

On Monday, following my food-coma wearing off- I did what most everyone in Boston was doing and jumped right into the Patriot’s Day celebrations and watching the Boston Marathon from the comfort of my air conditioned office with some take-out in hand with a few of my co-workers. Prior to the actual race, I was able to check out the course over the weekend when I headed down to Boylston Street in the dead of the night. There were a few other people walking the final stretch, as well- but the area was mostly filled with watchful police officers and crew setting up the last of the barricades along the runner’s route.

One of the officers was actually high-fiving people who were crossing the finish line. He gave me a supportive cheer as I leisurely crossed the line- throwing my arms up in victory as I did so- which is just one of the reasons why I love Boston as much as I do. Nearly everyone here just has such a fun sense of humor and buzzes with excitement and enthusiasm for events happening in or around the city.

I did it! In ripped jeans and impractical shoes at 11:30 p.m.- no less!

Someday I’ll run the marathon. Someday…

… Just kidding- but kudos to everyone who musters up the strength and the courage and trains their asses off to do it every year!

But for now, I’ve got some non-marathon-related work to get to!

On Friday, I’m going to be sharing my April POPSUGAR “Must-Have” Box (spoiler alert: it’s another good one!) and next week I’ll finally be posting a pretty cute and easy dessert recipe I picked up recently, reviewing some uh-may-zing hair care products, and going through my favorites for the month of April before I wrap it up and we head straight into May!

Have a great day, everyone!

xx

The Perfect Fit

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If you Google “late bloomer” at any point in the immediate future, there’s a 99.999% chance that a photo of me between the ages of 17-19 years old will pop up in all my awkward, fumbling, semi-unsure and insecure glory. I am the personification of the term- having spent my early and mid-teens almost completely oblivious to the opposite sex, trying and typically failing to adjust and flatter what felt like never-ending changes to my figure and body type- and often displaying one of the most immature and depraved senses of humor (okay, so that hasn’t changed much, but…) while other girls my age were mostly developed and nearly adjusted to their body types at the time.

Once I hit 19/20- adulthood and womanhood abruptly hit me like a truck. I was working full-time, was more career-oriented, was traveling the country (and overseas!) and noticing guys a lot more. My body had seemingly developed overnight as well- with the bust that had so alluded me throughout puberty and the majority of my teens finally making an appearance- which in turn caused some guys to notice me more, too.

I digress. Throughout those volatile and hormone-fueled years- one of the biggest struggles for me was finding a normal bra that fit me properly, was comfortable, and didn’t cost a small fortune since I was prone to growth spurts. One A-cup bra that fit my tiny frame one week would be cutting off circulation to my shoulders the next month when I suddenly shot up to a B-Cup without warning. I often relied on sports bras to get me through the days so I wouldn’t get stabbed by a rogue underwire or constantly have to adjust the straps to function- but they were also pretty unsightly when I needed some support for more formal events like my prom or graduation, for example.

And if I needed something to give me a boost in the bust for special occasions? Then you know those silicone “chicken cutlet” inserts came out. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, ladies. We all tried them and we were all equally disgusted at the end of the night when we finally removed them from our bra cups- sticky and sweaty after hours of pressing up against our chests. Don’t be ashamed. I think I still have mine somewhere. I fully intend to explain them to my future grandchildren someday when they ask me about weird fashion trends women my age participated in back in the day.

Bye bye, sports bras and silicone inserts.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, it’s become a LOT easier to find bras that meet my needs and ones that are the correct size. I’m still in the B-cup range- and given that my diet/exercise/lifestyle has remained pretty consistent throughout the years- my figure hasn’t changed too much. But I have friends and I know other women whose bodies and lifestyles have changed- sometimes drastically- and they are in need of some assistance when it comes to finding new bras that give them the support and comfort they depend upon to go about their daily tasks without distraction. Pregnancy and childbirth, gaining and/or losing weight, and various forms of birth control or medications can cause changes to a woman’s breast size significantly- and you may need to get fitted for some new brassieres sooner than you think…

… Especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a proper fitting.

Enter ThirdLove, a company that believes that every woman should have the perfectly-sized, comfortable and high quality bra of their dreams without the frustration of being incorrectly sized or the hassle of having to constantly readjust it. With memory foam cups, silky smooth overlay and a variety of styles to discreetly accommodate any wardrobe choice- ThirdLove is confident you won’t even feel like you’re wearing a bra. That’s how comfortable they are designed to be and that is perfect for someone like me who typically has a busy schedule and doesn’t need anything else to worry about during the day.

And if the idea of getting sized in a department store or at Victoria’s Secret intimidates you (and it’s totally okay if it does)– ThirdLove has a unique “Fit Finder” on their website to help you better determine your bra size and provide a style recommendation that they think would suit and benefit your preferences based on your answers. The company also offers a “Try Before Buying” option where they will send you a nude-colored and brand new, never before worn bra that matches your results that you can try for free for 30 days. If you love the bra- keep it and ThirdLove will charge you the retail value. Don’t love it? You can return and/or exchange it for free!

Eager to get the word out and change the bra-buying game, ThirdLove was kind enough to provide my female readers with a promotional code should they want to splurge a little on the company’s bras, cute undies, lounge wear or their plush robes. Enter “TLSPRING10” at checkout and get 10% off of your entire online order!

Treat yourself. Treat your friends. Just have fun with it! You deserve it, Queens- each and every one of you!

xx

February 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Valentine's Day, 2017.

Valentine’s Day, 2017.

Good Morning! Although I’m heading into work shortly, I’m in a lovely mood. The weather has been beautiful these past few days and it feels as though Spring may be right around the corner- which means fresh flowers, picking up some new dresses to commemorate the nicer weather- and spending more time outdoors without wanting to sob into a heavy knitted scarf or hide under a wool hat until Summer gets here.

Indeed, March is a magical month in New England- and not just because we know how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day particularly well. It contains the start of a new season, birthdays and anniversaries of people I adore, and more specifically for the coming month ahead- the beginning of a new career path for me!

That’s the biggest news for me to come out of February 2017- I got a promotion I have been working so hard and for so long to get! I’m so excited to get started in my new position within my company and to work with an incredible team of people. I’m in the process of moving things into my new office space as we speak and so far the transition has been a breeze. I go to work with a new title, new responsibilities, a more convenient schedule- and a much appreciated raise- in just a couple of short weeks and I am practically bubbling over in my eagerness to get started!

Oliver, February 2017.

Oliver, February 2017.

It’s been a long and sometimes difficult road to get to this point- but it was worth every frenzied morning, every bitter cup of coffee, every minute of overtime and every late night spent reviewing things over and over and over until my eyes felt like they were on fire. I’m so grateful and the fact that I still look forward to going to work each and every day has kept things in perspective for me. I understand how blessed I am and continue to be and I do not take a moment of it for granted- even on the days where I’m exhausted or frustrated. I’m thankful.

Apart from this joyous work update- what else am I thankful for from February 2017? How about that Patriots win at the Super Bowl? That was a wonderful way to start the month, wasn’t it? I love nail biter games with unexpected endings- and that one pretty much took the cake in that department! The resulting week-long party here in Massachusetts following the win was pretty great as well. Sometimes it feels like my body is still trying to recover from celebrating as much as I did.

And when I wasn’t partying too much- I took some time to travel a bit to a couple of new spots around the city and to New York on a whim as well. Not bad- considering we started the month with a series of intense snowstorms and are ending it without jackets and being able to roll our car windows down!

So apart from getting myself acclimated to my new position at my job- what exactly do I have in store for March? Well, now that it’s easier to brave the outdoors for longer periods of time- I have a few day trips planned for the weekends, some much-needed bonding time with nature planned for my post-office workouts, a couple of highly anticipated concerts around the city and quite a few posts scheduled for the blog- including some new recipes, some makeup and body treatment reviews, and a bit of long overdue photography I’ve been meaning to complete featuring a couple of new places (abandoned or otherwise) around the New England area.

I’m also attempting to coordinate a visit with some friends on the West Coast- although whether or not that will happen in March or a little later on in April has yet to be determined!

So here’s to what has been a really great month, and to the hope that March is just as good- if not better!

xx

New England Sunset, February 2017.

New England Sunset, February 2017.

January 2017: In a Nutshell.

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stellabella2017Before I talk about the rest of the month, I just want to take a moment to pay my respects to my cat, Stella- who passed away Saturday night after a brief battle with an illness. Stella went quickly- surrounded by her favorite toys, her treats, and the people who loved her and took care of her for the past 5-6 years. I buried her in my backyard yesterday morning, in a spot where I plan to grow a flower bed come Spring- and I’m going to miss her terribly.

Stella originally belonged to my friend Sam, who had adopted her when she was just a kitten and who kept her for a couple of years until an unexpected change in Sam’s living situation brought Stella into my home while pet-friendly accommodations were sought out. What was supposed to have been a brief stay- lasting only a couple of weeks- turned into months and eventually years. Stella wasted no time in acclimating herself into my home and within my family- and it took us even less time to embrace her and fall in love with her.

Having pets can be one of the most fulfilling and wonderful experiences in a person’s life- but when you lose them- it’s absolutely brutal. I’m going to be feeling this loss for a long time, and I appreciate my friends and my family for being so kind and supportive in the aftermath and while I work through it.

Apart from this recent tragedy casting a shadow on the final days of this month, January was a lot of fun overall. I started the month (and year) off with a relaxing weekend in rural Vermont, I celebrated my best friend’s birthday- as well as my own- and I recently had a spontaneous day off in NYC in-between working and getting political with the recent Women’s March (and I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot more protesting in the coming months) as well as on social media where I refuse to back down to anyone who promotes or perpetuates sexism, racism, xenophobia, bigotry and intolerance. While the news continues to get more and more insane, depressing and infuriating with every passing day- the one constant is that I continue to stand up for the rights of others and myself. It’s a trend I hope to see more of throughout 2017.

I recently offered my experience as a paralegal to any attorney within my state that may be in need of assistance- free of charge- who were attempting to help refugees or citizens affected by Trump’s newly implemented travel ban. My grandfather risked his life in WWII fighting the Nazis because he believed in democracy and wanted to keep the country he loved safe from tyranny and oppression. His family before him immigrated here looking for a better life and opportunity knowing there would be struggles and plenty of hard work ahead of them- but that was the American dream. Watching people who have that same dream and/or simply want to raise their families in a safe environment be turned away because of the color of their skin, their religion, or where they originated from absolutely breaks my heart and I want to help them in any way I can.

I think Cher said it best in “Clueless”:

cluelessstatueofliberty

But politics and protests aside, I’m thankful that January was- up until the night Stella died- pretty calm and laid back amid international upheaval. I feel like I really needed it after a crazy holiday season and an even crazier workload and schedule at my office. It was nice to have more downtime than usual to spend either on my own or in the comfort of friends and family. It gave me a lot of time to decompress and even more time to prepare for February.

So what’s in store for the coming month? Well, I’m kicking things off by getting in the Super Bowl spirit, planning another trip to NYC, doing some layout/long overdue maintenance on the blog (as well as my place), checking out a couple of new restaurants in the area, getting ready for the return of “The Walking Dead”- and continuing to spend more time with my family and friends.

But first things first. This morning I have an early meeting at work- so I should probably be heading off.

Enjoy the last day of January 2017, everyone!

xx

selfiejanuary2017

Pre-Pizza Party: 1/29/17

Deck the Halls…

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christmas201601

Spotted in Rural Massachusetts (12/18)

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all enjoying this final countdown to Christmas as much as I am- although I have been unusually busy these past couple of weeks! Between finishing up my gift shopping (I only have a couple more things to pick up this week, and once they’re wrapped I am D.O.N.E. with hitting the malls and ridiculous traffic!), get togethers and dinners with family & friends- and non-stop Holiday shenanigans at work (like an ugly sweater party, a decorating contest, a Christmas cookie swap, a company luncheon, etc. etc. The list goes on!)– I’m pretty beat and looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend in the company of my immediate family at my mom’s house.

Posts have been scarce this month, I admit- and with the impending holiday and all the preparations that come with it- I don’t anticipate updating again until after Christmas is over and it’s time to get ready for New Years Eve. I’ve already started drafting my final thoughts for 2016 (and ooooh boy- what a year it’s been) that I’m looking forward to sharing before I head off to my still-semi-secret NYE plans- which I’ll divulge in my “In a Nutshell” post about the year that was. I’m disappointed in my lack of updates, since I had set such high expectations for myself and really wanted to share a multitude of festive things- but much like the rest of 2016 was for a lot of people- things just sort of unexpectedly popped up and sidetracked me.

Until next week, I did want to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. I know this time of year (and really this year in general)– has been pretty tough for many- but I hope you all find ways to feel comfort, joy, and cheer. I hope you’re all surrounded by people you love and who love you right back- and most of all- I hope each of you knows that things will get a little easier and a little better in time.

See you all next week! We can bid farewell to 2016 together!

christmas201602

Natick, MA. (12/18)

xx

Giving Thanks

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alwaysbethankfulAlthough things have seemed downright bleak and depressing lately- be it the daily news, Christmas music being played everywhere before we’ve even finished Thanksgiving, or (in my case, anyway) the dropping temperatures and occasional snow flurries outside- tomorrow’s holiday is a reminder that even in the most trying of times: there is always something to be thankful for. It may be a difficult thing to remember or even believe now and then- but it’s true.

It goes without saying that I’m thankful for my family and my friends, or that I’m thankful for my career and for my company for taking care of me as well as they have over this past almost-year since I first started there. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back and the food (specifically the pecan pie) I’m going to enjoy in the company of loved ones tomorrow. I’m thankful for my good health and the advantages/blessings I have in my life that those less fortunate than me do not have. Those things are certain. They don’t need repeating.

But I wanted to take the opportunity to give thanks to some of the other, not-so-conventional things that I’ve been thankful for in 2016:

  • My Breakup: I know this one seems a little unusual, considering how much stress and heartache my split from my ex caused me earlier this year- but I truly am grateful it happened. Otherwise I would have carried on being blissfully unaware of what was going on behind my back. Now that I know the truth and I’ve mustered up the courage to walk away from him and the toxic nature of our relationship- I’ve felt less tense, more optimistic and confident about myself and my future- and proud of my resilience and strength (that I didn’t even know I had in me, to be honest.) It’s nice to have a blank page to start a new chapter with. It gives me something to look forward to.
  • My Car: I’m not a materialistic person, and I know being thankful for an automobile might be a little crazy- but I truly am thankful to have a safe and reliable vehicle to get to/from work and my daily affairs. My last car- destroyed by my since-fired “mechanic”- was a danger to myself, any passengers I had in it, and other people on the road. It’s such a weight off my shoulders to know the car I’m driving runs properly and efficiently. The extra bill I have to pay each month for it isn’t enjoyable by any means- but it’s a small price to know I’m safe and can commute without issue. I’m truly grateful for my local dealership who took care of me and helped me get it on the road.
  • My Special Event/Comic-Convention/Upkeep Team: I wanted to give a special shout-out to the team of women (specifically Barbara and Stephanie) who always make sure I look on-point when attending any type of special event or comic-convention. These ladies pluck, pin and pamper me so that my hair, skin and nails are always done perfectly when I have somewhere I need to be that isn’t work or the gym. They’ve made me look as superb as they can for multiple weddings, celebrations and costumed gatherings this past year- and I cannot thank them enough for it!

I also want to thank those who have helped me with crafting props and accessories for some of my costumes during the convention circuit in 2016. You are all so immensely talented and I truly admire and appreciate the work and effort you’ve put into making sure I look legitimate over these last few months. I really hope to work with some of you again in 2017.

  • Opportunities From the West Coast: Although I’m still in the “carefully considering” phase of potentially leaving for the West Coast- I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for the opportunities that have been rolling in- both from Southern California and Las Vegas. The offers aren’t just for gainful employment, but for adequate housing as well- and that’s amazing. Although I still have a lot to think about before ultimately making any type of decision- I am so beyond grateful that these sorts of things are even falling into my lap right now.
  • The Brands I’ve Partnered With: This blog was never intended to be lucrative by any means, and I never expected it to go that route since I always thought “Legally Redhead” was purely a hobby- but despite my hardships over this past year- brands still reached out to work with me and I am truly flattered and grateful that they did. Not only did I network with some fantastic companies who provide wonderful services and create life-changing products- but I was able to extend their reach to my readers, too. It was a win/win for so many people and the opportunities are forever appreciated.

And finally:

  • My Readers/Subscribers: For any and all of you who had followed “Legally Redhead”, linked to my social media, shared my content, left comments, or contacted me privately to voice your support- THANK YOU. This blog would be nothing if not for you and your continued kindness and I want you to know that I love and appreciate each and every single one of you. Your continued support is the reason I continue to write. I could not do this without you and I am truly thankful for all of you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Again, I thank you so, so much.

I think that’s pretty much it right now. Anything or anyone who may have been accidentally omitted will surely be included in my 2016 wrap-up post at the end of December. I promise.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday tomorrow- and if you’re planning on going shopping for Black Friday- please be careful and look out for one another!

Happy Thanksgiving!

xx

#NotMyPresident

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notmypresident

My mother, having grown up though Nixon and surviving under Reagan (which is when I came into the picture and the world!) once told me in her infinite and experienced wisdom that there are two things you should never discuss in a crowded room: politics and religion. “Both bring out the worst in everyone,” she explained to me. “And no one ever agrees. It just comes down to who can yell the loudest.”

But I take after my father- opinionated and not afraid to let the world know exactly what’s on my mind at any given time. It’s gotten me in trouble plenty in the past, and I’ve incurred the wrath of more than one or two people who didn’t like what I had to say- but I never, not once- backed down or fell silent. Freedom of thought and freedom of expression are fundamental rights in this country, and one that many women in many other countries do not get to have, let alone actively practice. For that reason- I embrace them and exercise them daily- even in the face of adversity (usually because of my gender) and even when I am threatened or endangered for it.

This blog is a lot of things: a scrapbook, a cookbook, a journal and maybe even a memoir- but the point is- it’s mine. It is my one corner of the internet where I can be myself, unapologetically- and share my life, what I’m thinking, and how I’m feeling. And following Tuesday night’s election results- I can tell you I am feeling pretty sad- but mostly enraged. A fire has been lit beneath me and within me- and I’m ready to fight.

I’m sorry, mom- but I need to talk politics for a minute.

I grew up in a liberal household. From a very young age, my parents instilled in me the ideals that I could be anything I wanted- provided I worked hard and never gave up. I was raised to not only value but to also always demonstrate kindness, empathy, and acceptance for all races, religions, orientations and economic backgrounds and/or circumstances. A quote- from George Washington Carver- was popular in my home:

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”

I was also taught to stand up to bullies- to fight against injustice, intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry- and hate. I was encouraged to not only defend myself, but to defend those around me who could not defend themselves from the uglier side of humanity. For that reason- I started my legal career. I wanted to help people. I wanted to do my part to make sure those who used fear, aggression, and violence to seize power and control or harm others were held accountable and punished accordingly.

And now we have elected perhaps one of the most ignorant, the most intolerant, and the most aggressive and repulsive of cowardly bullies to lead us as our next President. His supporters- frothing at the mouth at every despicable and reprehensible word that dribbles out of his mouth- have attempted to steamroll those of us who are shocked and appalled into being complicit with their animal-like behavior since the start of this ugly, messy presidential race leading up to right now through the post-election haze many of us have found ourselves in.

And I cannot and will not stand for it.

I have been a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton for a very, very long time now. I know she was and is not perfect. Like the rest of us- she has flaws- but her strength and capability as an efficient and thoughtful leader surpassed any overblown e-mail scandal the media hyped up. She has composure, class, viable plans to better our country- and most important of all- experience. Hillary Clinton has years upon years of experience in public service and in politics. I felt safe voting for Hillary because I knew I would not get someone with the temperament of a toddler who did not want to eat their vegetables at the dinner table and who actually had some idea of what her position would entail. I had no hesitations about entrusting Hillary with my future- our future- because I knew she would fight hard to get things done the same way my parents encouraged me to fight hard to achieve my own goals.

Instead, an admitted sexual predator, a racist who would not denounce endorsements from hate groups like the KKK during his campaign, a bigot and a bully (and possibly someone guilty of treason given his ties to Russia)– with no political experience, with questionable business practices under his belt, with impending CRIMINAL TRIALS looming on the horizon, and someone with no real plan of action to actually “make America great again”- is going to be sworn into office because angry, conservative and mostly white men couldn’t bear the thought of an overly-qualified woman being President after our country had an intelligent, poised, hard-working and immensely likable black man in the Oval Office for two terms. It was just too much for them- and an actual monster won the election as a result.

I shouldn’t even say Donald Trump won. Hillary won the popular vote, but the archaic concept of the Electoral College tends to screw us all over every now and then. A man with less votes than the other candidate still becomes President for a reason that is beyond me at this point.

I feel like Rick Grimes when he wakes up from his coma and the world had completely gone to post-apocalyptic Hell.

I digress. I took to social media to voice my frustrations with the results and my despair at what it meant for our country’s future. As a result- I have incurred the wrath of Trump supporters across all facets of the web. I have been insulted, harassed, threatened with violence and on two separate occasions- threatened with rape. I have attempted to engage these very same people in a dialogue to better understand their rampant hatred for Hillary and their support for Trump. I have asked them to specify the ways they feel their candidate was qualified or offer insight into how they felt he will “make America great again”. Each request, much like the way Trump dodges answers about his policies or plans- has been met with deflecting attention to Hillary’s e-mail scandal and with hurling obscenities and personal attacks at myself or anyone else who dared question them.

I repeat: This man has no plan for our future and his supporters are blindly eating it up anyway.

The night before the election, following one of my tweets unintentionally going viral after I compared voting against Trump to being a real life Marvel superhero (I was participating in a hashtag game in jest, I should mention)– I was bombarded once again by Trump supporters. I was called every name in the book: whore, cunt, bitch- you name it. I decided to return the treatment in kind and began openly mocking and humiliating those men (and yes, they were ALL MEN) who had tried to bully me into silence and who tried to strip me of my voice and my opinion using intimidation tactics.

Their response? I was immature and mean-spirited. The very same men who were threatening me and calling me a cunt could not take being made fun of on a public forum.

Why is it, that me- a woman- cannot defend myself using the very same low-blow methods their presidential elect uses on a regular basis? And then I realized that was why: Because I’m a woman. And I realized why it is that they hate Hillary so much. Because she’s a woman, too.

These are people are deciding the future of our country and it is appalling and horrifying.

I am also disappointed by those who voted for the third-party candidates “out of conscience”, those who wrote-in joke candidates (like Harambe, for example) or those who didn’t vote at all. This election was so close- and each and every single vote could have made a difference. Not voting or throwing your vote away unnecessarily has cost us all. Dearly.

As a woman- I am afraid for the direction this man, his fellow Republicans, and his followers will take us. I am afraid that I will be stripped of the rights myself and so many other women fought so hard to achieve. I am afraid that “grabbing women by their pussies” sets a dangerous tone for men to treat my gender worse than usual by limiting our worth to that of being purely sexual- but I am also white- and that gives me leverage in a country that seems to be not bothered in the least by a sickening white supremacy mindset running rampant.

I cannot even begin to fathom how my minority, Muslim, disabled and LGBT friends and family members are feeling right now. My fear is nothing compared to what they must be experiencing. I am at risk for sexual assault, humiliation, my right to make choices for my own body being taken away and my hard work and deserved pay to be undermined and compromised. Those groups I just mentioned are at risk of all those things AND potentially losing their lives, too.

I cannot stand for this. As someone who values human decency and who got into law to help others- I can’t sit back and simply let things like this happen- and I hope anyone reading this feels the same way.

So, what do we do now? We take action. We rally. We protest (peacefully.) We participate. We make phone calls and we write letters to our elected officials. We petition. We do everything and anything in our power to block any attempts being made to interfere or endanger our lives, our livelihood, and anything that will slow or halt the progress we have made as a country to date. We pay attention- and we never stop paying attention. We watch everyone- from our President, to our House of Representatives, to our local mayor to our meter maids. We make our voices heard anywhere and everywhere we can and we do not back down when those who do not agree with us try to silence or stop us.

Most importantly? We must stick together. Those of us who are vehemently opposed to Trump, what he stands for, and his followers’ thirst for violence and for division must have each other’s backs. We have to look out for each other. We have to keep one another safe. We have to show them- all of them- that they cannot intimidate us, break us, or make us disappear. We are here to stay and we are going to change the world by rejecting their ignorance and their hatred and coming back stronger than they could have ever imagined.

We must not let The United States of America be set back 8,20,40,100 years. We must push forward. We must continue on our path so that our country is not the laughing stock of the world but something to be respected and admired again. We must salvage our reputation by driving out the fear, racism, sexism, and xenophobia that has gotten us to this point where we have allowed a reality TV star and corrupt businessman with shitty hair to become the face of our Nation. We must educate his supporters to the best of our ability. We must fight for equality for everyone- and we cannot stop until our work is done.

Love really does trump hate, after all- and so does intelligence, perspective and common sense.

We’re gonna’ need all the luck and good vibes we can get to make it through this. Godspeed.

xx