Thursday, December 29, 2011

This might be my most vulnerable blog post (and the one I'm most proud of)

I've been cleaning things out this past week and it started in my bathroom. I have accumulated a lot of stuff in my life and due to purchasing these mostly useless things, I have found myself in debt. I have spend countless amounts on clothes and makeup and creams and potions all to make myself seem appealing to other people (and I guess in turn to make myself appealing to, well, me).

Maybe somebody liked me because of the outfit I was wearing or the bag I had, but I'm guessing probably not (and if they did, most likely they aren't still in my life). So it's time to get rid of that crap. I don't know what made me do it, but I just decided to throw everything out in my bathroom that I don't use anymore (or, in some cases, have never used). Get rid of it, get rid of it all. And then get rid of the idea that if I use this stuff I'll be perfect (that's a little harder than placing a garbage bag in the trash, the idea of perfection, but that's probably a discussion for the shrink that I don't go to, no worries I'm keeping a list of things to discuss with said shrink when I'm wealthy enough to afford one, until then it's just you and me and this blog, kiddos).

This was my medicine cabinet:

Not much 'medicine' to be had in there. It was overflowing with things I purchased to change my life (only recently have I realized that you might be able to change what you look like with a $50 cream but it will never seep down deep enough to change how you feel about yourself), wow that is surprisingly deep!

I have bought 'firming lotions':

because they will make me skinny (lord knows only skinny people enjoy their lives right?) and that will make me attractive and land me a prince and an acting job.

I have purchased 'wrinkle creams' before I had an actual wrinkle:

because they will make me look eternally young (only young people have fun right?) and that will make me beautiful and land me a movie star boyfriend and a singing job.

I have purchased 'bigger lips': *Don't be alarmed, this is a lip gloss and not an actual syringe (my madness has drawn the line at actual plastic surgery)

because having bigger lips will make me...ugh, I don't even know anymore, what? it would remind people of Angelina Jolie and then see me as more attractive and then blah blah, you get the rest. Writing this makes me sad and angry. Sad that I thought/think so little of myself, that I didn't/don't think I was/am enough. Angry that I let companies and ads and society continue to fool myself into thinking that a quick fix like an extra volume extending mascara will change my life.

I know now that it won't...only I can. And I'm working on it. I usually write a blog post at the end of the year with what I think are my biggest accomplishments for that year, and I've had some incredible experiences in 2011. I'm so proud of the things and the work I've done. But I think I might be most proud of this:

letting go of things that I DO NOT NEED!!!

I'm closing the door on the idea that I need something else or someone else or a huge paycheck or an Academy Award to be enough:
I am a work in progress but I also am enough when I'm true to myself, when I'm honest with myself and with other people, when I stand up for what I believe in, when I force myself to look fear in the face and continue on anyway, when I write a blog and hit publish post, when I try something and fail, when I sing a song and I don't sound like, hell, anyone else. I am enough!! We are all enough! Let's start to actually believe and live like it.

**Let's also be clear that deep down I'm a 'girly girl' (and a product whore) and this doesn't mean I'm not gonna wear makeup or get highlights; it only means that I'm understanding that I don't NEED any of these things to feel better about myself, to know that I'm ENOUGH, or to make people like me, all of my dorky charms do that all on their own, when I let them shine like they are supposed to.

***This ain't gonna be easy...It's all great to write this when 2012 is still a blank slate that can be filled with anything you want, but the true work comes when all the champagne has been popped and I'm out there trying to be my best, most authentic self and that's when I'll be tested. I'm willing to try (and fail) and continue to share it with you (or if no reads this, myself).

I wish you (all twelve of you who read this) nothing but the best in the new year...nothing but health and happiness and joy but also the strength, sense of humor and perseverance to pick yourself up if (and let's face it when) you fall.

I truly believe 2012 will be a FABULOUS year, maybe one of the best yet (and now I will let go of the fear that I have just jinxed myself by saying that) and say...


-Jean Ann

Here are my 2012 Intentions:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I made cookies and no one got hurt...

I. DON'T. COOK. I accept it. I hope you can too, without judgement. That being said, I'm completely okay with you judging just how much I enjoy eating, especially really good, fattening food. And if it's good, chances are I didn't have any part of creating it. I do know how to reheat things (I make waffles in the morning in the toaster, but I have burned myself while doing it); and man, you should see me microwave a meal! I can see why people like to cook, I wish I did, but I just really like to eat so much more (my friends joke that as soon as we are done eating one meal we are already thinking about what and when our next meal will be) but this post isn't really about meals. It's about a rare sight: me making something in the kitchen...COOKIES. Yes, I baked some cookies and no fire fighters were called.

Every year, since I can remember, my mom makes Butter Cookies (except in our case they should be called Margarine Cookies, but that doesn't really have the same aural appeal). Well, I made me some Butter/Margarine Cookies today and I want to share the recipe. I know I've been a little MIA from this blog. I have written posts but I never got around to hitting the send button...I guess I'm not ready to share those, yet. So as an apology for my absence, please enjoy the recipe (sorry you'll have to make them yourself). Seriously they're like the easiest cookies to make and I'm not really a baker either. Let's begin...


½ lb stick margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ cups of flour
chocolate chips
pinch of salt

Put margarine in bowl, then add a pinch of salt and mix it with a fork. Add the eggs, mix those. Then add sugar, mix. Lastly add the flour, a cup at a time. When it gets too hard to mix with the fork, use your hands. As you mix, you may need to add a little more flour until you get the right texture (not too hard, not too soft, the batter should come off your hands easily; well in the best case scenario it shouldn't stick to your hands).

Once it’s the right texture put the batter in a cookie press:

Press into a pan and add the chocolate chips:

Since I've made them for Christmas I use the tree and flower (like a poinsettia plant), there are many other attachments that come with the cookie press and you can use them for other occasions, but I only bake one day a year, in December:

Put in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for approximately 10 minutes (depends on your oven). Bottom should be browned a little:

Take them out of the oven (this is the hard/dangerous part for me) and then place cookies on a little tray when they are cool enough (you would think this would be self explanatory but you can never be too careful):

You can add powdered sugar when cooled, and then give some away. This is a good idea because it makes you seem generous but really it makes you makes you eat less cookies, so you'll have less weight to lose in January (you're welcome):

Holy crap, they look normal and even taste good. It's another Christmas miracle!

ENJOY!!!! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. Celebrate!! Celebrate some thing each day, you're still here, you might as well enjoy it. Eat a cookie (or a handful), even if I made it!

Til next time!