Dear Son

Before I knew if I was having a boy or a girl, I had resigned myself to two truths: I would either need to raise a strong, independent and loving woman or a strong, independent and loving man. Both would need to know self-worth and how to be a good person. But, the differences between having a boy and girl are stark. I would need to teach a girl about things like her period, how to hold her car keys like a weapon when walking alone…and how to avoid walking alone, whenever possible.

To me, having a boy meant teaching him to respect women, and how to be a good man, in general. When I found out I was, in fact, having a boy — and now — as I watch him grow, I think about more specific things from a mother and woman’s point of view.

So, here are some, and please — feel free to add yours in the comments, because I know I can’t cover everything here.

If you would never talk to me a certain way (and believe me — you won’t), don’t talk to her like that.

Ask a girl no one is dancing with to dance. That was your mom once. If anyone makes fun of you for it, that’s okay. You’ve just made a very nice memory for someone and that lasts MUCH longer than a few elbow nudges and jokes.

Don’t let her walk alone — especially mad — down a street, especially at night. Even if you think she’s being ridiculous. Do NOT let her go.

Don’t play with her heart. Be clear about how you feel and what you want. You don’t have the right to make up anyone else’s mind but your own.

Stand up for others who can’t stand up for themselves. Shut your dumb buddies up once in a while. The good ones will look up to you for it.

When it’s her ‘time of the month’ — that means she’s menstruating and yes, PMS is real — be extra patient, compassionate and kind. Let some things she says go and don’t take them personally. Do nice things for her. Go buy her feminine products and whatever she wants when she asks. Get bonus points for doing it without her asking. Basically, do what daddy does. Mommy taught him that.

It’s okay for her to have male friends, and for you to have female friends. It’s a big world, and we can all learn from each other. Insecurity is a very unattractive quality in anyone.

Open doors. Hold doors. All kinds of doors. For everyone, really but especially for her.

“No” means no. “I don’t know” also means no. Anything but ‘yes’ is no, so stop immediately and show respect with your actions and words.

Those are my tops, I think. Can’t wait to see what you all add.

The skinny on (my) skincare

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I recently had a wayyyy too flattering request to blog about skincare products I use after posting a photo on Instagram. So, here it is:

I’ve used Proactiv since I was 17 years old. So, for 20 years. I’ve strayed a few times but I’ve always come back because I have an oily t-zone and find Proactiv works best to keep it at bay. I use the simple three-step system and LOVE the toner. I will warn you, though - if you don’t already know, Proactiv’s active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, so…use only white bed sheets/pillow cases or you will have bleach spots on them. Unless you’re into that look.

I also swear by No7 products. The Restore & Renew Face & Neck Serum is the B-E-S-T. It truly makes your skin softer, more supple (I gasped after using it for just a day) and smoother. I also use the Restore & Review eye cream. Speaking of eye cream…

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I’ve tried a TON of different eye creams. I’m a bit obsessed, I think. I personally need a hydrating eye cream that can help somewhat with anti-aging I guess. I’ve tried expensive eye creams like CHANEL Le Lift, which I liked, but the price tag sucks, quite frankly. No7 is the clear winner thus far.

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I don’t really use a daily moisturizer, and from living in SoCal, I know I should be wearing one with SPF, but…I don’t. Unless my skin is dry. When that happens, I have been faithful to Neutrogena Oil-Free with SPF 15 since I was…probably 15.

OH. HANDS. Seriously, I cannot stand dry hands, and my recent move has my hands begging for help. Cardboard boxes, packing tape and cold weather do not mix. I am obsessed with Kopari’s Coconut Melt and use that as an all-over body lotion as well as for my hands. But, when I’m on the go, I keep a tube of Aquaphor or Neutrogena Hand Cream, (Norwegian Formula, because I’m fancy like that) in my bag.

That’s really it. I once read somewhere that your daily skincare regimen should take no more than 5 minutes, and I try to live by that because who has time for anything more?!

Just get married already!

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Did you hear?! Bachelor Nation’s darlings — Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth have called off their three year engagement. I was really rooting for them, but I can’t stop myself from thinking things might have been different if they had gotten married.

An engagement is technically a promise of marriage. You can only talk about promises for so long before you actually DO something about it. I believe the standard length of engagement is around a year or so. Given the way Shawn and Kaitlyn met (when she was the Bachelorette), and how quickly they got engaged, I can even understand two years. But, it’s been three. And, for me — it started to feel like they were milking being part of the Bachelor franchise — sponsoring products on Instagram, starting side projects, Shawn opened a gym and they even doled out relationship advice to other Bachelors/Bachelorettes on the show. This past January, Kaitlyn was even on an episode of Hayley Ever After, in which she selected a wedding gown by designer Hayley Paige. So, I thought mayyyyybe they’re getting closer and will perhaps even air (for a price, no doubt) their wedding on a Bachelor special.

Now, I suppose you could say, well, good thing they DIDN’T get married, because they’d be going through divorce! But — my response would be: Not necessarily. When you’re married, I think you’re more likely to work on issues and less likely to give up — because breaking up isn’t as easy to do when you’ve committed yourselves before friends, family and oh, yeah — legally.

I just think three years is a long time to be in marriage’s waiting room with alllll of the components of a wedding and married life hanging over your heads. That had to have been a stressor, don’t you think?

Anyway — since they’re saying they are committed to “remaining friends and supporting each other” — may I propose (pun intended) a joint season of the Bachelor/Bachelorette in which they both seek out future partners at the same time. Maybe they’d wind up back together, who knows!